poet in Trieste's activity

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Fri, 05/23/2014 - 14:22

I moved to Italy in December from the Puget Sound area, and have been living in Trieste since February. I've been enjoying life here, though learning the language is taking time. I started studying online and with books about four months before I came, and am progressing a little at a time. I've taken 10 hours of Italian classes here so far. I can pay my bills and do some really basic conversation in Italian now, which is helping. A lot of people here do speak some English, so between their broken English and my broken Italian, I manage to do the things that need to get done. And there are also a lot of fluent English speakers in the city as well. Every time I get out of the house and do things without speaking English is a bit of a triumph for me.I got here on an elective residence visa, with the help of my brother, who has lived here most of the last 24 years and is a permanent resident. I'm living on Veterans Administration disability and Social Security and am doing well on that amount -- better than I'd have been doing in Seattle by quite a bit, as it's a very expensive city to live in. My brother told me that all countries have their own sets of problems and to move is just trading one set for another, so it depends on what you're willing to tolerate and what bothers you the most as to whether you'll be happy somewhere not.I just got my Permesso di Soggiorno a couple of weeks ago after several months of waiting. Right now, I'm waiting for the police to come by and verify my residence so that I can get my Carta d'Identita. Sure, waiting around for them is a bit of a hassle, and I'm feeling impatient about it, but it's really not that much of a problem; even the Italians are annoyed with their bureaucracy, so it's not like I'm alone. In comparison with the VA bureaucracy, it hasn't been that bad at all so far. I had to fight with the VA for 12 years to get my disability pension, and the VA health care system really depends on where you are for how good it is. In Seattle it's not bad. In Missouri, where my mom and her husband live, they literally don't have enough money to keep a person on the switchboard to answer the phones.So far, I've been meeting both expats and Italians, and having a lovely time. People have been wonderful to me, even when I inadvertently do stupid things; at least I'm able to apologize in Italian. I've found folks in Trieste to be patient and helpful, for the most part. Making an effort to speak Italian, even if I'm not that good at it yet, seems to go a long way. The city is beautiful, the Adriatic is gorgeous, the food is good, and there's usually something interesting to do. Public transportation is good, with trains and buses easily available, though yes, there are sometimes delays. Because of health issues, I can't drive a car, so being in a walkable city with good public transit is very important for me. The quality of life is good and there are a great number of people here who live past 100 years old. I've met and become acquainted with enough people that I am now starting to run into people I know around town when I go walking.Overall, I think I made a good decision to come here, though I've been here less than a year so far. My brother is thrilled that I've joined him; he lives a couple of hours away. He's been taking me traveling around northern Italy, primarily Friuli Venizia-Giulia and the Veneto, and I've been loving the adventures. I'm looking forward to traveling around more of the country, as well.