Time for Internet in Our Apartment in Italy
Getting WiFi in our apartment in Italy is similar to the USA in that you need to make an appointment for the installation.
Based on horror stories I’d heard, I expected the process to take a month — an eternity when your livelihood depends on broadband internet access.
Yet I’m continually surprised at the efficiency in Italy. It’s not German efficiency, but it’s not Mexican either. The trains in Italy — mostly — run on time. (France, meanwhile…) Where is all the waiting in lines I read about? When I requested an appointment, I only had to wait a week. Sounds reasonable, right?
The day came and the cable guy arrived to hook up the cable. He was punctual, friendly, professional, and efficient. (And German, turns out.)
Um… he didn’t bring the cable modem. You know, the one provided by the cable company that sent the technician to our home?
Basically, he just came to make sure I had the hookup. Well, we had the hookup. Apparently the modem would be delivered at some unknown future date. Maybe I will be waiting a month after all?
always sometimes fun experiencing the different ways of having things done when traveling the world. However, I confess some things would benefit from a smattering of American-style urgency. I couldn’t wait for internet in our apartment. We needed it, like, yesterday.
No modem? No problem.
I simply walked the 1/2 mile to the store to see if I could just pick up a modem there.
The Internet Store
I arrived at the store and waited an extra 10 minutes to get the employee that speaks English. We actually chose this particular store for SIM cards and internet because of this, on the advice of our local immigration attorney. (Same goes for getting a bank account, but that’s another story.)
Modem in Hand
With zero fuss, they happily gave me the modem I needed, but the employee said the original modem “might” still get delivered to our house. And if that happens, I’m to bring the extra modem back to the store. Apparently there was no way to just cancel the delivery in the computer system.
Then, I got home and we set it up, but… it was missing the cable that plugs into the DSL jack into the wall. In other words, still no internet.
Back to the Internet Store
No cable? No problem.
I wanted to walk the 1/2-mile back to Wind right away to get this all taken care of. But in Italy, most stores close from 1:30-4:00 for what they call pausa (“pause” — which is their lunch-time break to take a nap and play with the kids).
It’s just the way of life in Italy. You get used to stores being closed in the middle of the day. I rather like it. It reminds me to take a break, too.
Most of the stores reopen around 4pm and stay open until 7 or 8pm, which explains why Italians eat dinner after 8pm. That’s when they get home from work.
So at 4pm, I walked back to the internet store to get the missing cable. The employee was embarrassed and apologized, but it didn’t bother me. I’d read enough books and blogs about the way things can go in Italy that I just figured it was par for the course.
I arrived home and plugged in the cable.
The internet worked. And it’s fast! (80 Mbps for €25 per month.)
A feeling of accomplishment washed over me. One of the half-dozen things I’d read expat bloggers complain about Italy was how difficult this process would be. I could now check it off my list. My total inconvenience? A 1-week wait and about 4000 steps, according to my iOS Health app. And it’s just possible I stopped for an espresso on the way home.