by Melinda Gallo

Dave's monitor held hostage

Dave had been waiting for his new Apple 23" monitor that he ordered from the US. His friend Bryan got a discount for him and had it shipped to Dave's parent's house. When it arrived there, his dad took it to DHL to send it.

Dave got a phone call on Dave's cell phone and he passed me the phone. It was DHL. They called to get a copy of Dave's passport (they wanted his codice fiscale (tax ID), but he doesn't have one). They also wanted another copy of the invoice as well since it's for his work.

We sent everything and never heard back. We watched the DHL website carefully to track where the monitor was each step of the way. Then, finally it arrived in Florence. We knew that they'd come eventually to the apartment. When I talked to the woman the week before, I made sure she knew the name on the campanello (bell to ring outside) and what floor we were on because I didn't want to go downstairs to drag it up two floors.

On Monday, the delivery man rang the doorbell, I told him, "Siamo al secondo piano," (We're on the second floor.) and buzzed him in.

He came to the door a bit out of breath. He set the box down, pulled out papers for me to sign, and said, "400 Euros per favore." (400 Euros please.) Startled, I asked, "Per che cosa?" (For what?) and he replied, "Per la dogana." (For customs.)

I explained to him that I just talked with his colleagues last week and no one mentioned any money for customs. He showed me the paper work and it looked official. I told him that I'd have to go to the bank to get money, but he said that he couldn't wait. He said it was OK, but that he has to take the package back and I'd have to call to reschedule a delivery.

I immediately called DHL and told them that I want him to deliver the next day. "Sė, certo." (Yes, of course). She explained that I could've paid with a check or credit card. I told her that the man told us cash only. She said she was sorry and that it's scheduled to be delivered the next day.

That was two days ago. The same delivery man came back today, we gave him the cash, and he gave us the monitor.

Share your comments for this blog post on the Living in Florence's Facebook page. Grazie!