I want an iPhone 4………..

I want an iPhone 4.  Now I know they are not really very good, I know they have problems with their antenna and poor signal reception, I know that if you drop them they break, I know they look dreadful in a case, I know that in China you can buy an excellent copy for US$ 10.00, ‘cos I know they cost only $4.00 to make, I know I don’t need one but I want one…

My justification is that my current iPhone 3 is slow, the battery runs down quickly and if I move contract from Vodafone my current service provider to Tim the telecomitalia service I can save €8.00 per month.  The fact that if I move to Tim and just accept an ‘ordinary’ phone I could save even more does not figure in my argument..

So yesterday off I took myself to the Tim store.  Now it is not he first time that I have tried to get a new contract with Tim for the iPhone 4, the last time was prior to Christmas when I could not as the store did not have any iPhone 4s – I took this to be Christmas demand so decided to buy in January.  Yesterday in another Tim store in Gubbio – one recommended by a good friend I enquired about an iPhone 4 contract to be told that he did not have any stock of iPhone 4s and was not likely to get any for a further two weeks.  Innocently I asked “can I reserve one?”  “NO, you have to come into the store” so to get an iPhone 4 I have to trek daily for the next two or three weeks to Gubbio to enquire whether the Iphone 4 has arrived  I can’t reserve one…..

I was not in the best of moods yesterday so this incident did not help to raise my happiness levels.  It all started off with two ongoing issues, my website and my boiler.

1)  Before Christmas I asked my webdesigners to add some photographs to Bellaugello website, principally photographs of the Diva, Giardino and Specchio Suites.  Well finally, ‘cos they never seem to be in a rush or sense urgency we  spoke last week and I skpyed the photos and captions over to them.  A funny conversation ‘cos I had to repeat instructions several times.  Anyway yesterday when I checked the phots were still not on the site.  For guys enquiring about these suites I have to email them pics, how unprofessional is that???? incidentally this morning the photos are still not on the site… so battle will shortly recommence.

2)  My wood and pellet boiler.  This highly expensive piece of kit was installed last autumn and is supposed to heat the entire property.  Made by Gilles from Austria, it is not only costly – the Rolls Royce, Ferrari, Bugatti of boilers, it is supposed to work, but it does not.  It doesn’t get sufficiently hot enough and cuts out when it pleases-on a whim, so I have to spend my days hovering around the boiler house, it’s like wanting and iPhone 4.  Now Neither apparently do Gilles or their agent work.  Despite numerous SMS’s to the agent, and calls to Gilles, who reply with a recording in German and English ‘we are sorry we are on holiday until 09 january’ (2012 I think as that was the message again yesterday).  I cannot get through to them and their agent does not reply. I HATE the boiler.

Ok so next stop ACI – the Automobile Club of Italy.  Last August my UK driving licence was due to expire so I went as one does in Italy to ACI to sort the matter out.  They suggested that I transfer to an international European licence.  To do that they took €80.00 from me.  I had to get a medical examination!!!  another €30.00 plus one of those wretched Italian tx stamps Marca di Bollo €14.62  I queued at the hospital for the examination to be told finally the doctor had to leave and to come back tomorrow – 1 1/2 hours wasted.

On return the examination turned out to be very informal “Do you have a drink problem? Do you use drugs? Do you have a family history of Epilepsy? Can you read this?”  ecc..  “No, no, no yes”  Ok stamp stamp give us yer money and go back to the office to queue for the completed form.  Return to ACI give them the form.  Now to cut a very long and frustrating story short, in mid November I called in at ACI to establish the progress with the application.  I have been driving round with a piece of A4 carbon copy paper that substitutes as a driving licence – but not in Scotland when I wanted to rent a car for my Mother’s funeral, so of course I wanted my real driving licence back.  Now in November ACI tell me my UK licence has classes of vehicles that if I transfer I will no longer be entitled to drive – for no reason, “è Italia”.  Tension, but I have no option to accept.  Then last week I receive a call to come into the office, there is another problem.  The form signed by the doctor includes the classes of vehicle that Italy decides I can no longer drive with this new licence, so will I come into the office, pick up the form, return to the hospital, ask t he doctor to delete the classes then return to the office…… Aarrgggghh……

How is it that this country can be so very inefficient?  Last autumn my UK passport expired and I had to get the document renewed in Paris (‘cos that is where they are now renewed) I pulled the forms online, gave them to a friend visiting from Paris, who took them into the consulate one thursday in early October, and the courier turned up at my door the following tuesday with my shiny new UK passport, Is a passport not a more important document than a driving licence, do they not perform more rigorous checks, yet they can issue one in what must have been one working day yet Italy cannot issue a driving licence in six months…

I have an ongoing saga with ENEL the electricity supplier here in Italy.  Last July I filled in the application forms for an augmentation of my supply which quite frankly is measly and below tolerable standards.  I have to jiggle washing machines, water pumps, dishwashers and ovens, so that none are on at the same time to overload the supply.  Well my electrician helped me with the application, and constantly assured me that all was proceeding well.  Well in October when it was evident that ENEL had not commenced work replacing overhead cables I guessed something was wrong.  It transpires my electrician had not checked and had failed to fax (yes they use only fax here in Italy) a single document, one sheet of A4.  Lack of this document meant that ENEL had done NOTHING, and my application was back at the beginning of the queue once again.  Yesterday I tried calling the ENEL office – no reply haha what else should I have expected,?  Will I have my augmented supply by the end of this month, I dunno, lucky the sauna has a wood burning stove.  Aarrgghh….

Next I get home  the internet still was not working.  It had crashed, AGAIN  It has started to crash every day since a good chum asked me if I would recommend the service and I said “yes”.  As readers on my blog will know there was a big issue with serv – At this point my blog programme also crashed and saved the draft only this far Aaarrggh…..er speed from TelecomItalia, so I went to an internet provider who runs with an antenna system.  Now over the past few days the internet has been running very slow and cutting out.  I thought it was ‘cos they were doing work to upgrade the service which is always slow in the afternoons when presumably the kids come home from school and they together with their mums check their facebook or whatever, but no it CRASHED, and still was not working last night.  It is scary just how isolated I feel without the internet even if it only works at 500kps.  So for you it was lucky I could not blog last night, It would have been a very much angrier blog.

Friends of mine are going on holiday in February to Malaysia and China, I think I will ask them to bring me back and iPhone 4, anyone else want one??!!