Buon Giorno,

Ieri sera, io sono andato alle sei al agenzia immobiliare. Il agenzia immobiliare trova apartamenti con un contratto per 1-4 anni … non per 3-4 mese. Cerco per un apartamento ma non lo trovo.

The group of four guys who live down on Viale Bligny called and talked with me. The three I’ve met liked me the most of all the people who have asked about the apartment but their friend who is not moving out is worried about my short stay. His lease is up in June, and he is worried about not being able to fill the room by then and fill his space as well. Because I will be leaving on May 1st, he would only have a month to fill the space. He talked with his roommates and ten minutes later they called me again and said he changed his mind and would think about it. Then he called me directly and the gist of what I got from his Italian was that he wanted me to help him look for a replacement. I said I couldn’t fully understand but I got some of it and asked if we could meet in person to discuss it today. We set up an appointment at 6 and will discuss it then. I’m not sure if he wants me to guarantee a new roommate (which is impossible and too much stress for me to take on) or if he just wants me to help him write and post public announcements about the room on all the different sites… easy since I’ve used 5-10 different sites and can easily write a ‘bed for rent’ advert in English. He does not speak English which is what he is worried about … I think. I won’t know until I can hear him speak in person, I get so much more out of that and can gesture to make myself understood. I will take my dictionary with me… hehehe.

After that I walked home and listened in to a public concert in the square down Viale (Via) Gottardo. That was really fun … a bunch of big white vans parked under the massive freestanding archway just blasting music. At each corner of the square there were Italian police in riot gear… It was a little disconcerting. As I finished up my walk home I came to peace with the idea of moving into a hostel for a few nights if I had too. I have not found another immediate housing option but I have 3 that are open on February 1st. My main concern now is that the ones open February 1st are farther away than this shared place and much more private. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad. I know private is nice … but I also don’t have any problem with sharing and it will help my Italian immensely to be living with Italians and not locked away in my room. Also those are 500-550 and have internet while the shared room is a meager 370 per month total without internet. The first month would be about the same since internet activation is 120 euro and 10 euro per month. I don’t understand how its so damn expensive to activate it but I think maybe I can negotiate.

I’m getting more comfortable with the idea of this shared place. It’s also in a great location. Three minutes walk from the Yellow line which goes straight to the consulate instead of a 20+ minute commute to the Duomo and then 10-15 to Turatti on the Giallo line. There is also a Latin dance school 100meteres down the street and Club Tropicana 60meteres down the street! Youtube Tropicana and you’ll see the club. That’s a big plus for me because the buses and metro shut down at 12:00-1am.

Two days ago I bought my student pass for 67 euro for 3 months. Unlimited access to all trains, buses, and trams within the metro area. Without it the transit costs 3 euro per day where as the pass is 17 per month with an initial 10euro for the card and photo. It looks like a fat phone card.

I also bought a cell phone 34 euro and a plan 10 euro, and put 20 euro of minutes on it. It has proved immeasurably useful in looking for apartments. I think I make 15-20 calls a day to different places asking about rooms.

I went inside my first big church today… they are so silent; I wanted to stay and just sit and calm myself. It was very tempting but I have to find a safe place to lay my head first then once that stress is gone I can prepare myself for work and really begin to explore Milan in depth.

If this place is where I end up staying then I won’t be online for a few days until I get internet sorted out. Don’t worry if that happens. At the latest I’ll get on from work when I start on Monday at the consulate. It will mean that at least I am in an apartment!! I’ve also found some internet cafés so maybe I can use them.

Got a great message from my folks. It was really wonderful to read their note and have their support. It makes such a difference in my determination and energy to know that my brother, mom and dad have full faith and confidence in my decisions.

As you can tell my mind is pretty focused on finding the apartment. I’ve got to go soon to meet up with the guy and talk to him. If we come to a reasonable agreement then I think I will do that. If I do I’ll need to get the deposit (2 months rent) and get a receipt from them. I wonder if I will need to sign a contract? Guess all good questions to ask today.

Ciao,

Baci.