Can’t speak I am so angry/frustrated!

Can't speak

I am speechless! Gobsmacked! Incredibly angry and not angry all at the same time depending on what bit I focus on.

So much so, that I just can’t talk about it. Maybe later when it’s all sorted (if it all gets sorted).

The subject being V, cars, money, not thinking ahead or being responsible, etc.

Of course, V says it’s for me – but really it’s for him as well. V shouldn’t be allowed to be spoken to by salespeople. I should have been there.

Cazzo Alice, nearly cazzo ZoneAlarm

Cazzo Alice

Had a few problems over the last few days. As you may know by this post, I had the problems with ADSL. At the end of it, methinks, it was almost certainly Alice’s fault (Alice being the brand name for Telecom Italia’s ADSL service and not some random girl; it’s actually pronounced aleechay and not aliss).

Then, 2 days ago, I found I couldn’t send email through Outlook. This meant I couldn’t reply to anything unless I used the web mail site, which is not so convenient, to say the least.

Of course, the first thing I do is search the web with my error and I find that ZoneAlarm may be the cause. Recently it suddenly, without my asking, put a spam filter on my Outlook. Now, actually, I thought this was quite good and I quickly got over my initial reaction of ‘why are you doing something to my machine that I didn’t ask for?’.

So, I have been watching it rather closely since then to see how it goes. I had almost got to the stage where I was trusting it and then, I find, it may be the cause of the sending emails function to fail.

So, how to switch it off? Well the ZoneAlarm console says it IS switched off. A check on the forums shows that it was an accident with one of their updates and that it did cause problems with Outlook and provides a link to be able to switch it off.

So, that’s what I do. But there is only a slight change in the error message that I can display when it won’t send. But then on another part of the forum I find you have to also do something else. Which I do. And the error message changes again.

And then I remember that I read on one of the forums that a persons ISP had suddenly blocked port 25 (used to send mail) except for their own smtp mail function. So I try, just in case. And then it works.

So was the problem Alice or ZoneAlarm or, even, both at the same time?

Either way, I’m now thinking that I will try and find another Firewall product (I haven’t really liked ZoneAlarm since Checkpoint took over) and then, if Wind/Infostrada get their act together, I’ll let them move me after all.

Of course, that almost certainly makes me a little, no, probably completely, crazy, but Alice have annoyed me twice in a week now. Cazzo Alice, and ZoneAlarm is only slightly better!

How to ‘buy’ a free car in Italy

How to buy a free car

Don’t. Go to the UK. Buy a car over there. Tax and insure it. Spend 2 days driving it over here. Job done and everybody happy.

Alternatively, get a bicycle or use public transport.

Whatever you do, DO NOT TRY TO BUY A CAR HERE, unless you have full residency status, in which case it’s fine. Also, even if the car is free, it will cost you just to transfer title (between €330 and €680). Yep, Italy is a great country, but I’m amazed that most Italians haven’t emigrated to somewhere where life and, in particular, bureaucracy, is much easier – like the UK, for instance.

So, a friend of a friend is emigrating to Canada. If she does not get rid of her car by 10th July, she will have to pay a whole year’s insurance of €400. As she knows the difficulties here, she is prepared to let it go for free. And I have the chance to have it. Just a couple of small problems.

I can’t legally own it without having Residency here. It will take much longer than a couple of weeks to do this, even if I can, which I somehow doubt. And I need to have the car as mine has many, many things wrong with it and, surely, it is only a matter of time before it fails.

In addition, the owner has mislaid, or never had, one of the two documents that she needs for the car. To get a replacement can take 90 days! And cost €200! And she will be gone within 90 days!! And post, here, is difficult to have re-directed (I’m almost certain that you need to prove that you live at the new address before the Post Italiane will permit the post to be re-directed).

Maybe I should just give up?

Mozzies; on holiday all the time; ice-cream; Wimbledon and weather

Well, summer has truly started. Not only is it hot, and I mean hot all the time, even during the night, but the mozzies are well and truly back – big time.

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A Grand Day Out

In the UK, if someone suggests a trip out, where you were going to travel for two hours to get there and two to get back, you would tend to make a day of it. So, for instance, when we lived in Herefordshire and you decided to go to, let’s say Aberystwyth, you would set of at, say, 10 a.m., reach Aberystwyth, have lunch, enjoy the afternoon having a walk around and set off home at 6 or 7 p.m.

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(Not new) problems with Telecom companies!

I know I’m not the first and I know I’m not the last, but it doesn’t help really. The story goes thus:

About 4 weeks ago or more, Alice (the ADSL arm of Telecom Italia) rang me up and I spoke to a very nice lady, in English, of course, who informed me that I could upgrade my ADSL from 4 MB to 20 MB for no extra money and I would have to do nothing. ‘What, nothing?’ No, not even change my modem! I would notice no difference except, if my modem could handle it, a faster speed. OK, I said (I know, my first stupid mistake).

Then, about 2 weeks ago, Wind (otherwise known as Infostrada) said that they were doing this special deal whereby a call to the UK would cost 20 cents. What, per minute?, I asked. No, for the whole call! AND they would give me a cheaper ADSL line (only 4 MB – but my modem can only handle that and it’s quick enough). But, I said, last time I tried to change, I was told that I would be without ADSL for 1 week. No, the nice man, who spoke English very well, said, you will only be without ADSL for a maximum of 1 hour. But what about the password, etc. I said. Don’t worry, he said, we will email you the password and connection settings. Wow, I said, OK then, sign me up! (My second stupid mistake).

So, last night, after going to a Gospel concert (which was really crap – I don’t think white people have the correct voices for Gospel and V agrees) and a beer and so forth, we returned home to find – no ADSL!

A message on the screen says that the new set up is available via my Alice mail account. Except it has been over two years since I accessed that account – and I only have it because they made me have one when I first set up ADSL. So I have absolutely no idea how to get the information to access ADSL. I may be without internet access for the whole weekend or, God forbid, longer. It’s like being in a desert without water. What will I do? How will I manage to live? And is this problem because of the upgrade I signed up for or the change to Infostrada? How the hell do I know?

Oh, and now nobody in the Technical area speaks English – surprise, surprise. I must speak Italian, apparently. Yet, of course, when they try to sell me something they always speak English. How very convenient. So I ask a colleague here to help as he is our network man. At which point he tells me that he is with Infostrada – well, sort of. He has been without ADSL and telephone line since 7th May!!!!

He will help me this afternoon. I do hope we can sort it. If we do, then I will cancel everything else and NEVER, EVER CHANGE AGAIN!

On the bright side, I’m already thinking that, instead of being stuck in front of the computer I may read some books, write some letters, go for walks, prepare some food, clean the house and many, many other things. Actually it will be more like being on holiday!

In the meantime, I found this somewhere on the internet the other day and thought it was useful to remember this. (I’m sorry, I don’t know where from or who posted it).

“Well there is a difference [talking about Bush and the leaders of the Iraq resistance, I think, but could apply to many, many situations]. The one is like a pirate, the other an emperor. From St Augustine’s City of God, said the pirate “Because I do it with one small ship, I am called a terrorist. You do it with a whole fleet and are called an emperor.”

It’s a thought, isn’t it?

Update: Now, as I’m able to put the picture up and add this update, you can tell that I’m back online with ADSL – Hurrah! However, it still annoys me that Alice can happily sell me stuff in English but can’t support me unless I have someone who speaks Italian with me. Bah!

(Italian) Words of the Day

This could be subtitled ‘Essential words when you come to Italy’.

In this case there are two. Cazzo and Vafanculo. I hear them quite often. They are not such polite words but, it seems, essential to daily life here.

At least in my office. The Commercial Manager, in whose office I reside, came back from a three-day trip yesterday. He normally sprinkles most sentences with the odd cazzo and, very occasionally, the odd vafanculo.

But, yesterday, once Si had left, he needed to find some documentation. He couldn’t find it. I have never heard so many cazzos and vafanculos in all the time I have been here, as I did in two hours yesterday afternoon.

At one point, every other word in the sentence was cazzo. Really, I mean it.

I shouldn’t really take against it so. After all, my language is not squeaky clean, as people who know me will attest to, but, really.

It also seems that, last night, for some very strange reason, he switched round the battery cables on his car resulting in a burn-out of at least one of them. Something to do with his daughter – so maybe he was trying to get her car started. Anyway, he’s not in right now (hurrah) and the damage will, apparently, cost him €500.

It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy!

V’s Quote of the Day (a few days ago)

After V had received a telephone call from friends we were on the way to visit. They had told him where to go and he was repeating some of it back (as you do). But I wasn’t really listening.

A – Where are we going?
V – What did I just say?
A – I don’t know. That’s what I’m asking, where are we going?
V – I don’t know that’s why I asked you if you heard what I just said.

It’s a surreal conversation and you just had to be there. I think that could almost be a Quarsan saying; although, to be honest, his are usually better. After that I just kept completely silent.