The day finally came when we connect up the septic tank to the house. Riveting I hear you say and you are probably right but in the humdrum days of life in Puglia it was quite an event. Of course to do this first you have to build a pipeline and this has taken sometime.
Getting the pipes ( tubi) proved somewhat difficult as well. I had assumed that the local ironmonger would sell them. After all he sells almost everything else including the infamous kitchen sink so we headed off down to Villa Castelli clutching the measurements.
But guess what they don’t. One thing one does notice in Italy are that there seems to be agreements between shops as to what they sell and what they don’t so everyone gets a share of the spoils and it successfully reduces competition . This is what Renzi is determined to stamp out but so was Letta before him and Monti before him so watch this space.
Talking of Letta you remember the old saying your reward will come in heaven. Well it seems if you are a Prime Minister who supports the EU and then falls from grace ( get tossed out) you no longer have to. He has landed a plum job in Brussels paying zillions of euros which is also a job for life.
Still I digress. The guy in the ironmonger told me we had to go to the large ceramic place at the other end of town. Makes sense doesn’t it? Why wouldn’t a place selling tiles and floors sell pipes for sewage systems whereas the place selling taps, loos, and all plumbing gear not. Stupid of me not to think of it straight away wasn’t it?
We piled back into the van and set off when I remembered that they have been digging up the main road through Villa Castelli almost since Julius Caesar was a boy. Well maybe not that long but I blogged about it 2 months ago.
Maybe it has finished said the guy driving . He is clearly an optimist or very new to Italy. To be fair they have moved further down the road now replacing the gas main and the old diversion signs had gone. However around the bend on the way out of town there was the road closed sign and a diversion sign pointing up an hill. Encouragingly there were destinations on the sign as well and the whole thing looked as if someone had really decided to be helpful and get traffic through the town. Silly me !
Now let me try and describe it for you. The road up the hill meets some 300 metres up, another road coming from the opposite direction. Traffic from other areas of Villa Castelli was coming down that way and we were both to funnel into a single lane road heading down the hill and back to the main road. Traffic from the main road coming the other way had to come up this road to avoid the road closed sign. Yep it was a single lane road. So the police had put a traffic light down on the main road. I guess with the idea of halting main road traffic while the two roads at the top feed traffic down including us.
With me so far ? It would have worked swimmingly well if Villa Castelli owned another traffic light but it seems they don’t. No problem says the police. We will position one of our own fearless officers at the top of the hill and she can only feed traffic down when the light at the bottom is red. Job done let’s go have a coffee . Except the fearless officer decides that she wants to stand in the shade and the point where the two roads at the top meet is in the sunshine. Not good for the complexion. So she walks further up the hill on one of the two roads to get in the shade.
Unfortunately she can no longer see the traffic down at the bottom of the hill and has no idea if it has stopped or not so she guesses when to dispatch her road down the hill. Nor can she control the traffic coming up and turning downhill that we were on.
No prizes for guessing the chaos that is now taking place. Traffic coming up on a green light is meeting two streams of traffic coming down and no one is going to give way to anyone.
The fearless officer decides to call it quits and walks off away from the problem she has caused and we spend 45 minutes fighting our way downhill.
I blame Monti for failing to get reforms through parliament that would stop merchants deciding to operate in this fashion.
Let the ironmonger sell whatever he wants . But he failed. He was going to open competition to the chemists too to try and lower the crazy cost of tablets such as aspirin in Italy but that failed too.
I was reminded of that when looking for some vitamin B Complex tablets here. In the UK 120 tablets are £4.25 . Here they are €45 .
I was introduced to Vitamin B by the owner of a pub we stayed in last time in the UK . He calls them his happy pills as his wife says he is a different guy since he started taking them ( no not like that ! That’s another blue pill).
Now I can admit that since hitting 60 I maybe haven’t been the happiest guy. Indeed Victor Meldrew looks like a bundle of sunshine in comparison.
However a week on Vitamin B and I am a different chap . It is truly amazing. My wife is talking to me again .
Thank god though I can get them sent from England. Where do they get these prices from down here.
Well better go and flush the loo and see it the system works now .