My mother asks in an e-mail whether the dog has stopped “piddling” in the house. Despite our best efforts, we still find the occasional yellow puddle (sometimes fresh, sometimes dried) near one of the balcony doors. (I’ve had to start keeping the pantry door shut; it has one of the balcony doors, and the sun warms the floor up to a comfortable temperature …). I try to leave the back door open to the yard, but Cooper doesn’t always realize that he can outside by himself. And if the door is closed, he might sometimes whine to announce his intentions, at which point I’ll let him out; but other times he just thinks, “oh, fuck it” and he lets go.
The internet odyssey continues; despite the so-called technical difficulties that the ADAnet guys cite, I can pick up the neighbors’ wireless signal from our kitchen. In some respects, problem solved, but eventually I’ll have to move to the study, so we will need our own system. In the same e-mail, my mother also suggested that the internet guys might respond to a little bakshish. I’m not interested in doing that, if for no other reason than it sets up the next Americans for the same treatment. Plus, there’s no polite way of saying “By the way, would a bribe help?”
Our last shipment of household goods – “unaccompanied air baggage” in the State Department parlance – arrived yesterday. I’ve been going through these boxes, along with the 40+ boxes that carried our household effects shipment. Moving to Albania has given me the opportunity to do an inventory of what we own (partially; more is in storage and will stay there), and it has highlighted the problem of two people getting married and combining houses in adulthood. Even after provisioning our own bedroom and the three guest bedrooms, we have 10 extra pillows, three irons, two Britas, countless lamps, enough bathroom towels to keep Christo busy for years, and simply lots of other crap that I keep tripping over.