In my last post, I mentioned a couple of things that I had to look forward to, so I wanted to mention them now. One of them is the memorial gathering my brothers and I are planning for my dad, and while you might think that'd be a somber occasion, it probably won't be so much. My dad's sense of humor was his biggest personality trait, so we're all looking forward to people coming and telling jokes and stories about him. Plus, we're holding it in a Chinese restaurant in honor of my dad's saying that "Jews can't eat pork, unless it's in Chinese food." He'd have loved this, so rather than being a sad thing I feel like it's going to be really wonderful. There will be tears, yes, but for the most part I think we'll be laughing through them.
The other thing that Chris & I both have to look forward to is our upcoming return trip to Italy. Yes, we're going back - and this time we're staying for six whole weeks. Chris will be teaching two one-day sessions (with the possibility of a third) at a business school in Milan as well as having meetings with headhunters and such. He was just planning to go on his own, but then I got an offer I couldn't refuse from my company - they're helping me to get over there and to get around, and in return I'll help flesh out the Italy section of the website with photos, videos and content for which I'll be doing loads of research during the trip. It's a test run in several senses. Chris & I will get to test what it's like to live in Milan for an extended period of time, I'll get to test what it's like to work for a US-based company from the other side of the world, and my bosses will get to test what it's like to have me working so far away. So yes, it's a test. But a damned fine kind of test. See what I mean about an offer I couldn't refuse?
Of course, there are a million things to be done before we can leave, not least of which is finding a place to live. Rather than stay in a hotel for six weeks, which would cost an arm and a leg even in the off-season, we're looking for a furnished short-term apartment rental. The good news is that those are a dime a dozen (not in terms of being that cheap, mind you, but in terms of being seemingly all over the place). The bad news is that one thing we absolutely must have in our apartment is making the available pool of flats a little smaller - we must have internet. We both have to be able to work, and this is one of the conditions my company has said is imperative for them to be supporting this test. So, we're looking for the perfect apartment that has internet already hooked up. We're hoping that our saving grace is that Milan is such a business-oriented city, with so many business travelers coming in for extended periods of time, that finding such a rental won't be impossible.
Then, after we get a home base in Milan settled, I've got to figure out what things/places in Italy I want to see during my six weeks and then plan how best to see them all. I realize this is hardly something to complain about, and I'm not, but it is another thing on the "to do" list. And the amount of time we have "to do" all the things on that list gets shorter as the list gets longer. Any minute now, I expect to adopt that pre-trip mentality I usually do - that the truly things will get done before we leave, and the things that don't get done must not have been that important. But I haven't gotten to that point yet. At the moment, I'm still feeling a little inner panic about the whole thing.
But enough about the panic part. Let's just focus on the part about me having stuff to look forward to, because that's what I need right now. So - I have a six-week trip to Italy, a country I love dearly, coming up. And that's enough wonderfulness for me right now.