by Melinda Gallo

Too early to put on the heater

Today the tecnico (technician) came to work on the caldaia (water heater). The proprietaria (owner) of the house made the appointment and told me where all the documents were for him to look at, fill out, and stamp. Instead of having to pay the tecnico in cash after the appointment, she agreed to pay him by bollettino (bill). I prefer it this way as I hate to have to have a bundle of cash and count it out to the guy when he's done working.

The tecnico arrived at exactly 2.30PM, which surprised me. Luckily, I came back home from my lunch ten minutes earlier. There's no intercom in my building, so I opened the window after buzzing him in to make sure he got in OK. He seemed to know where he was going as he didn't look up and headed straight inside the building.

He trudged up what looked like an aspirapolvere (vaccum cleaner), a briefcase, and his borsa (bag). I opened my front door so he could come up the steps and enter my apartment.

We greeted each other and he said, "Non c'eri te l'altra volta. (You weren't here the last time.)" I explained that I just moved in a few months ago.

It had been raining off and on today already, but while he was up on the terrazza (terrace), not a drop fell. He came back down when he was finished to explain how the caldaia worked. He asked me a few times if I wanted him to program it or if I wanted it manual. I explained that with the weather being a bit quirky, I'd rather have it manual because I don't like the heater on that much.

I was happy to have the caldaia adjusted because the weather has changed a bit and has been a little on the cool side.

Before he left, he turned on my termosifone (heater). I quickly walked over to the radiators and felt the warmth that they emitted. Within a few minutes, my apartment was nice and warm.

I called Alessandro later to tell him that my apartment was warmed up, and he told me that it was illegal to put on my termosifone before the date that the governo (government) tells me that I can turn it on. I laughed initially until he told me that he wasn't kidding. I argued that it was a little cool outside and I'd even started wearing boots outside. But, he said that I'm not allowed to turn it on yet no matter what.

I reluctantly turned it off, but felt silly working on my computer wrapped in a blanket, so I turned it back on. I figured that no one would know that I have it on in my apartment because all that happens is that I use more gas. They might just assume I'm taking more warm baths or something.

When I talked to Alessandro's father, he said that it doesn't matter. "Se tu hai il termosingolo, nessuno ti puņ fare nulla. (If you have an individual heater, meaning not the building, no one can do anything.)" I felt relieved as I relished in my warm apartment without feeling guilty.

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