Giovanna and Jochen

IMG_1630So there I was struggling to understand most of everything that was being said during William’s Kindergarten information evening. Initially I was so focused while partially pretending I could understand most of the topics that were being discussed, eventually I’d simply had enough! At this precise moment I looked across the table and there was a lovely blonde lady looking straight at me with the warmest of smiles and just a hint of cheekiness. She saw right through me and read my mind!

Ciao Giovanna, Ciao Jochen!

We have been extremely fortunate to come across this lovely family. Giovanna is Polish and Jochen is German (with two young children living in Italy). I just love listening to this family communicate with one another. Jochen speaks German to the children and Giovanna speaks Polish, they all speak Italian and now with our influence they are attempting to better their English language! What an inspirational family! Jochen thankfully came over and offered his assistance soon after the information evening and we just hit it off immediately. The very next day he invited us all to the beach at Torre Del Lago. Where Puccini himself used to hang out back in the day. We had such an enjoyable relaxing day with our new friends in Tuscany and you children absolutely adore them. From then on we have been seeing them regularly, they come over and hang out for hours or we go over and do the same. They advise us and guide us through many situations… We have yummy traditional meals together and your father has no choice but to get drunk (which he is hopeless at!) with his new German mate and to hear you kids playing together, all the languages under the one roof and the made up ones, usually coming out of the Zaitzevs mouths!IMG_1615

Giovanna helps mum with most things related to you children. Any particular products, shops, pharmacies I need to track down, including where the nearest hospital is in case of an emergency and how best to reach it, using all the back streets that all lead into one another! Finding a reputable family doctor who would accept foreigners without asking for a cheque book straight away, Giovanna has been beside us. She even attempted to get our family on a health benefit system (similar to Medicare but not really) in preparation for the European winter ahead– oh dear did she try! Numerous phone calls and appointments with the longest of lines and when we finally reached the front of the line, we were usually instructed by a very unkind, unresponsive lady, holding a large appointment book, pencil and rubber telling us we were standing in the wrong line! Something that would normally make my blood boil I surprisingly found these situations hilarious.  After weeks of being dragged to every office and line, the outcome – I basically needed a job to join their medical system and that wasn’t going to happen anytime soon! So thankfully we have paid premium health insurance and there shouldn’t be any major concerns, although it just would have been nice not to have to claim every visit to the Doc in the next coming months, assuming with you 3 kids there maybe a few ahead! Goodness Giovanna was helpful though and I felt I needed to be just as determined with her because of this. Children at that point, lining up beside Giovanna and listening to her explain our story a hundred times, negotiating and arguing on our behalf,  – I realised I had found a very special friend, not just anyone but a friendship that will last a lifetime and never did I imagine this to be the case in Italy! Feeling very blessed.IMG_1640

Speaking of lines, only recently mummy walked past one and noticed many elderly people standing up in line! I couldn’t believe the number and wondered what was going on and why weren’t there any seats for these people. Giovanna asked a few of the people in line and I was absolutely appalled to hear these elderly have no choice but to visit this office and reregister themselves every year for their pension.  Absolutely disgusting!

Only in Italy! Love mumma x

2 thoughts on “Giovanna and Jochen

  1. Hello Fiona, I found that email very heartwarming, it is amazing that there are no barriers to kindness and friendship, though you are a very nice person, so how could they not love you. Am I to assume you will be remaining in Tuscany for another year, gosh those legs must be incredibly hairy.

    Love to you all, god bless and enjoy.

    1. Gorgeous Pamela! I do miss you and our chats! Thank you for your kind words. My legs; Unbelievably hairy! I have been searching all around the countryside and still yet to track down a brilliant beautician as yourself;-)

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