We really don’t want to, not really. Although people are dropping dead up north of here and will soon be doing so here and everywhere else in Italy, that is just because Italy is the most popular place for tourism. So it hit here hard before any other place outside of Asia. But when you consider the response by the Italian authorities and the healthcare system here as compared to the jiberish that trump is spewing and the pray away the virus approach that Pense is taking and the lack of real healthcare for 30 or so million working class (read no sick leave) people, I think the USA is about to be hit hard. So that’s where we are going. Or at least trying to.
Initially we were planning on going back in September. We purchased round trip tickets for april so we can visit and attend my mother’s 93rd birthday and see the grandchild. With a second one on the way. This was all before the corona. And then, still before the corona, we decided that it was stupid going back and forth so we decided to just stay in april and forfeit the return tickets. That was not such a big deal because RT tickets cost about the same as a one way anyway. But then people started getting sick in China. And more people and then Korea and Japan and then Italy. Seeing the snot on the wall, it was clear (actually green) that we probably would not make it out of Italy in April because chances are that trump would shut down the airports by then. So we decided to try to leave before April. Except that we have a car that we needed to sell. Normally that should not be a big issue if you’re willing to take a bit of a loss and sell it to a wholesaler. You just take the car in, they inspect it and pay you. That’s it. Simple. No.
When we went to France last year we transferred the registration to France so we could buy insurance for the car. The car still has French plates because the insurance does not lapse until next May. A CAR WITH FOREIGN PLATES CAN NOT BE SOLD IN ITALY. The car has to be registered in Italy to be sold in Italy. The process for switching plates from another country to Italy takes 6 months. Six Months. Unless you are willing to pay a private company to do the registering for you. In that case it takes one month. And 720 euro. Almost $900! So that is what I had to do.
Meanwhile the virus is getting worse, people are panicking, whole communities are being locked down and we are getting nervous that we would not be able to leave so we decided to forget the April trip altogether (1400 euro) and buy earlier tickets. The April flight was SAS out of Florence to Copenhagen to New York and they had no problem with Ringo. Unfortunately they don’t fly out of Florence until April. But TAP does. So I bought tickets with them for this coming Sunday. I checked their website and they were very warm and fuzzy about dogs so all was good. The Plates were supposed to be ready the monday before and that would give me all the time I need to sell the car. The plates were not ready. Panic. What to do. I can’t do a power of attorney with a foreign registered car. I can’t drive to France, 6 hours away, and sell the car because I am not a resident of France. I can’t abandon the car that is worth north of 8000 euros. What the hell can I do. So we decided to leave the car at the villa, with the owners approval, and return when all this blows over and sell the car. Maybe in the autumn.
Meanwhile I have a 27 inch Imac that I need to take with me. TAP does not allow them on the airplane. They allow laptops but, what the fuck. So I had to box the computer and send it UPS for $250 plus a trump customs charge on my own computer. And then TAP rejects Ringo. Why? because the Support dog laws are American and the first leg of the trip was from Florence to Lisbon. The European laws limit dogs to 8 kilos, 3 less than Ringo’s portly weight. Additionally they don’t allow dogs in the hold from the Florence Airport. So there was no way short of giving Ringo some cash and letting him make his own way to the States. So fuck TAP.
I get a call from the car agency and they tell me that the plates would be ready Tuesday after the Sunday that we were supposed to leave on TAP. So we decided to get a flight out of Rome for next Thursday on Norwegian air. They really like dogs. No problem with Ringo. That is were we stand now. Tickets for next Thursday (March 12) and hopefully the car will be sold by then. Hopefully.
Meanwhile Alice and I are avoiding everybody. When we have to shop we disinfect our hands before and after we touch anything. We use the automatic registers in the supermarket and as soon we are back in the car we disinfect again with surgical disinfectant. No shaking hands. No touching anything unnecessarily. Full Paranoid.
Stay tuned. Incidentally, Norwegian Air would have taken my computer for free. So it goes.