It seems to be a theme with us that as soon as we leave the base, we get lost. And that is using the GPS (aka StupidHead). Our GPS is not good. Yesterday, she took us on one of those very narrow streets, lined with cars on both sides, around a corner which took a 3-point turn to make, only to find it was a dead end and we then had to back out! On the plus side, we see a lot of interesting things by getting lost. Yesterday, after the realtor dropped us back to the base, we drove back downtown in order to explore the area around the house. Here's what we passed when we got lost going the long way to the house:
This is at the Pozzuoli Amphitheatre. We parked the car and stood in front of the blue box we thought was the parking meter receipt box. After staring at it for a minute trying to figure out how to work it, we realized the photos next to the buttons showed couples in intimate positions. The little machine we were trying to pay for parking was actually just selling condoms. Everything is an adventure.
We eventually made our way to the house we hope to rent and explored the area. I'm very happy with it. The only thing missing within walking distance are some shops for clothes/shoes/home items, a supermarket, and a weekly produce market. For those, I'll have to drive or take the metro. The other drawback is that the garage is only a two car with no other outdoor space for parking, so we have some decisions to make in regards to my Cinquecento. We did, however, see cars parked along the street (nice cars) and not a one of them had the wheel lock, so I'm hopeful that means the neighborhood is nice. (Many cars have this lock that covers the entire steering wheel & column to prevent hotwiring - theft is a huge deal here.).
We now have an appointment for a contract, but it's not a done deal. The landlady may decide to continue showing the house even though we have a contract appointment. The Housing Office here will not show the house to anyone else (supposedly), but there are many NATO countries represented here in Napoli, so if the landlady wants to continue showing the house, she might do so.
Nathan has gone to work today - his first day. I plan on reading the mountain of paperwork we were provided last week and getting it into some semblance of organization. We'll take it easy for a couple of days and meet our realtor on Thursday in order to develop our list of negotiating points. We'll go over the house carefully and list anything we want the landlady to do for us before we agree to rent. It's really an interesting process over here - so different than anything we're used to. We'll keep you updated.