I have been busy lately. Very busy. In the last 5 days I have been to an awesome lunch in Monferrato, (Piedmont area – 2 hours from Milan) stayed the night at a great bed and breakfast in the town of Garda, (Lake Garda also 2 hours away) and hosted a small dinner for 20 people on my terrace finding the best hidden fish market ever, to do so. Lot’s of good stuff to write about.
I take my kids to school and quickly rush into my building eager to start writing.
My portinaia is there in her little office putting on her makeup. (portinaio/a means doorman) Portinaia has been our doorman for 3 months. Portinaia is about 28 years old, quite pretty, and spends basically the entire day playing video games on her cellular, painting her nails,
or talking on her phone.
Before going up to my apartment I remember to ask her where my daughter’s bike is, as yesterday we couldn’t seem to find it.
“Buongiorno” I say and this means good morning. “non riuscivo a trovare la bicicletta della mia figlia ieri, sa dovè puo essere?” I say. Which is basically have you by chance seen my little girls bike?
“Si. Lo so dove, lo buttato via” and this means “Why yes, I do know where it is, I threw it away.”
“non ho capito.” I say and this means I don’t understand. I do understand of course, but I have learned from Italians that when you are about to get REALLY mad about something you just heard you first say ‘non ho capito’ to give emphasis on whatever it is you just heard, it’s sort of the calm before a storm type of thing.
she continues “Beh, si..era li vicino il bidone da un mese, l’ho buttato” which means “it was there near the trash cans so I threw it away”
This is true, I put our bikes near where the trash cans are. It is also true for about 8o% of the city, because in Milan the courtyards of apartment buildings usually have 2 things – bicycles and freaking trash cans.
I tell her that also mine was there and she didn’t throw it away. Then I say “mi scusi, ma perchè non mi hai chiesto se la bicicletta era da buttare?!” which means – why didn’t you ask me first? I say this in a very loud voice that S-man would call screaming because I am truly irritated not only do we have to spend a fortune for Portinaia to sit in a chair all day and paint her nails, now we have to pay extra when she does decide to do something.
To which she replies “comunque non era nuova la bicicletta” which means “anyway it’s not like it was new” and with this she turns around and goes back into her little office, shutting and locking the door behind her.
I am furious, I go upstairs and call S-man to tell him. He asks me where exactly did I put the little bike. I tell him “in the courtyard next to the trash cans”
then he says to me “non ho capito“…