|A restaurant near my apartment.|
Last fall I spent many days scouring the HomeAway.com listings for this medieval apartment that is ideally located, close to many attractions including the British Institute, and yet still far enough away from the tourist throngs to be quiet at night.
For €500 a month, or roughly $18 a day, I am the proud tenant of a spacious one-bedroom flat with a modern kitchen (full-size fridge and large freezer) and living room area; a very large bedroom with two nightstands, a dresser, and a wall of closets; a bathroom with bidet; and a washing machine at the end of a long hallway. While the modern conveniences such as double-glazed windows are wonderful, I also like the medieval touches. The tile floors and beamed wooden ceiling are original. The iron arm that attaches to the front door deters intruders more effectively than any modern-day alarm possibly could.
Just as my neighbors do, much of my life is spent outside going to the market in the Santo Spirito piazza or the Conad supermarket near the Ponte Vecchio; emptying the trash bins (Europeans have been recycling far longer than Americans.);
They surely have been married seventy years or more but the first few days I was here, I worried that one of them would kill the other any moment. It's difficult to believe two people can scream at each other all day long and still remain married. Or, that is what I thought until Monday when my French doors were open to admit the sultry night.
Around 9:00, I heard the usual shouting at one another that indicated it was time to go to bed. She screamed one last sentence or two while he belted out part of an aria and yelled a few instructions at her. Then it was blessedly quiet. I revved up the laptop planning to do a bit of reading for tomorrow's class, when I heard a noise I'd never heard before coming from upstairs.
My cantankerous neighbors, the ones I feared would kill each other any moment, those old coots who screamed at each other and the world for hours at a time, were in their room--whispering and giggling in bed like teenagers.