Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Contacts & Contracts

This evening, I got together with Chris and Erin, two Americans who've been living in Florence for several months, and whose blog I ran across. We met for coffee after dinner and they gave me some useful tips about internet connections, bank accounts, and fake meat products for Kristen. It was definitely nice to talk to other people who were also strangers in a foreign country and had to go through some of the same difficulties (language, getting settled, etc.) as I am.


I'm finally getting somewhat settled at work now. In contrast to the efficient systems in Germany and the US, where you were cared for and introduced to everyone the first day you arrived, here it seems to be somewhat more disorganized. Last week, I finally got a desk of my own, although it's still temporary, since it's in the graduate student room. Before that I was sitting in my advisor's office at another person's desk. Today I applied for an email account, and got a copy and printing code (which doesn't work yet). And I also got word that my temporary work contract is being prepared.
About that: I was supposed to start officially working on April 1st, with the one-year contract starting that date. However, they emailed me the contract while we were in Argentina, and wanted it sent back signed shortly thereafter, before we returned to the US. So I told them that I couldn't do that since I was out of the country, and they agreed to have the official contract start in May, and to have some sort of a temporary contract for April. Well, apparently the temporary contract is in the works and I have hopes of getting paid at some point, and the official contract, for which we (might) start the paperwork next week will start middle of May.


Arista said...

It's cool that you've got some American friends now! Hopefully they can continue to show you guys the ropes until you get settled in. Though I must admit I AM very curious as to what assortment of fake meat products are available there. I'd imagine many Italians would frown on anyone who dared to snub their salami. (Sorry, Kristen). ;-)

Working Title said...

You have "hopes of getting paid at some point"? Man, you must really love your job! (Or you're stinking rich and somehow managed to hide the fact for over ten years...)

Ben said...

Arista - Unfortunately, Chris and Erin are going back to the US for the summer and may or may not be coming back to Florence in the fall. I'll definitely keep you posted on the fake food products. I guess we're (or rather Kristen is) used to snubbing famous food products (see: Argentina and steaks). ;-)

Working Title - Well, right now I'm living off of my savings, but those will be gone in ... a month? ... so I really am hoping I'll get paid!

dqjkin2000 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dqjkin2000 said...

(this is the same comment I deleted above. I just wanted to add a link)
They don't have the array of meat replacements that they do in the US (fake chicken, fake canadian bacon, fake ground beef, etc. Oh yeah, Yves (? I think) canadian bacon works decently as ham). I've seen: veggie burgers (one organic kind was good), flavored tofu (the pizza flavor was OK), seitan (good, at least with the recipe I had), chicken nuggets (not that great, but better with a seared pan taste), hot dogs (not even close). The veggie burgers are easiest to find.