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June 27-28, 2005


Monday June 27, 2005


        Today is the 6th anniversary of Anastasia's (right) Baptism in 1999.

        At 10:00 AM I woke up and got up and packed.  I called FedEx at 10:15 and they told me I had to fax a copy of my passport to Italian customs or pay almost $500 in import duty on the computer, which they claimed was new (and of course they were right).  Marissa had put a value of $2100 on the package which didn't help.  We were all racing to get out of here and head for Milano so we could fax the passport and try to receive the package there.  Dima and Tania took off ahead of us and we left at 11:00.

        As I was driving toward Rapallo, I realized that there was no way we would get to Milano before noon (when customs goes to lunch).  Also the car was out of gas and we needed time to do that.  So I decided to pull into Hotel Miramare to see if I could get them to fax the passport for me.  I parked in the same place I had yesterday and went in to ask the man at the desk.  This was a different man and he was a little put off by the request but I gave him those pleading eyes of desperation and then he relented and asked the lady in the back to see if she could do it.  She made a copy of the passport which you could barely read so I went out to the car and got my color copy and then after several busy signals she finally sent it off.  With that done there was no longer any reason to drive like crazy to get to Arese.  We should have stayed and enjoyed the climate.

        We took off and found an IP gas station and filled the tank.   At  €1.26/Liter it cost €83 for the 65.94 L (17.42 gal).   This comes to $5.77/gal and $100 to fill the tank.  This trip will be costly.  I finally calculated a way to translate €/L to $/gal and it came out to multiplying the €/L by 4.583.

        By 11:30 AM I drove the trip to north to Milano and headed directly for Cerruti men's wear on the GPS, now that we know the exact address.  We arrived at 1:30 PM, but as luck would have it again, on Mondays they don't open until 3 PM.  So Marcia drove the remaining trip back to Arese.  At 3:00 I called FedEx and again at 4:00, 5:00, and 6:30 all the time getting frustrated but they told me to call at 8 AM tomorrow.  At 8:00 PM I did my run on Dima's treadmill  (left) and then out into the street and town.  I wanted to get a cappuccino at my favorite place but they are closed on Mondays.  Instead I went into the fitness place called the Forum and had one there.  Since Dima had a flight tomorrow morning at 5:00 AM, he chose to cook dinner for us rather than going out late to a restaurant.  He made quite a feast for us and he is an excellent cook.

    

        We sat down to dinner at 9:30 and had some nice Italian vino, antipasti, rigatoni salsice (sausage,) and veal roast followed by excellent vanilla gelato with chocolate chips.

    

    

        At 11:00 PM, we said our good-byes and I went downstairs and finalized the website and made copies of it for the spare drives.  When I was done I got to bed at 3:30 AM.


Tuesday June 28, 2005


        When I woke up at 8:00 AM, Dima had already left for his 5:00 AM flight to Napoli.  At  8:15 I was on the phone with FedEx again and this Mary tells me about the customs decision that I must pay $500 in duties.  I called them again at 9:05 and Fabian tells me he needs to send me a fax and an email of a statement I must fill out declaring that the computer is my personal property.  I sat for an hour waiting and finally called him back and he tells me the customs told him he could not send it.  While I'm on the phone, he call customs and they now tell him to fax the form to me.  I get the form by fax and fill it out and then fax it to customs to the attention of Mrs. Deborah.  I also faxed my passport again.  When I was done there was nothing else to do.  I also faxed a form to Fabian instructing them to not deliver the package to Zoagli but instead to the nearest FedEx depot in nearby Bollate.

        I finally went back to bed at 10:40 AM and slept until 2:00 PM.  Marcia was getting antsy to just get out of the house so at 4:00 Marcia drove us back to Cerruti and we arrived in a half hour.  You know how "buying a new hat" lifts your spirits.  Well that chemistry was going on here because I found a whole lot of different colors and styles of sports jackets that fit me perfectly.

      

        I guess I went crazy because I bought nine of them along with four shirts and two belts.  The prices were hard to pass up for this quality of clothes from a famous Italian designer.

        After two hours there, Marcia drove back but as we neared Arese, I saw signs for Bollate and figured it might be wise to see if we could find the FedEx office using the address on the GPS [Via Ghisalba 1, Ospiate di Bollate.]  We arrived there at 7:00 PM just when they close but the guy let me in and I asked about my package.  He checked it out and told me it cleared customs without import duty and would be delivered to them there in the morning.  Well, it looks like I am all set.  Just waste another day and pick it up in the morning.

        At 7:30 we stopped for a cappuccino at Il Grand Café (above) and then went back to the house so I could do my run on the treadmill.  At 9:30 Tania and Anastasia took us back to dinner at Ristorante Long [Via Dei Plantani, 6,  +33-2-935-81898.]  As we were waiting for our food I noticed that Anastasia was drawing intensely and I looked at what she was doing and I thought Kevin would appreciate this art from a 10 year old.  It was Nadal, the famous tennis player.

        We got a bottle of Greco di Tufo which was very cheap and I had pizza margherita...

         

...and  pasta with salmon (that was Anastasia's left overs) (below left) and then duck with ginger and onions (which wasn't all that great) (below center) and patate frite (below right.)

      

        I had a ripieno coconut sorbet (below left) and an espresso.  Marcia had branzino again (below center) with spinach (below right) and finished with a limoncello.

        

        We got back to the house at 11:30 PM and had some wonderful watermelon.  I did a few things getting Dima's computer prepared just in case, did email and went to bed at 2:30 AM.

KJH                                                                                  Go To -> NEXT DIARIO #11 

Kenneth J. Hoffer, MD

KHofferMD@AOL.comRETURN TO INDEX

Arese, Italy

Sent 7-11-05

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