Random Notes from the “Big Move”

We recently moved back to Padova, Italy from Innsbruck, Austria.  Here are some various, random notes:

  • Moving truck rental in Europe stinks compared to the US.  It’s something like 3 or 4 times as expensive if you want to rent a truck in one place and drop it off in another, and those two places happen to be different countries (even though they’re only 4 hours away).
  • Moving in general in Europe is fairly difficult compared to the US.
  • I’m happy to be back in Italy!
  • The language barrier in Austria was really a killer.  I speak Italian fluently, and to go from that to being a complete "zero" was really difficult.  I’m glad to be back somewhere where people are impressed by how well I speak the language.
  • We’ll miss the mountains, but enjoy the wide open skies.  Innsbruck is an extremely beautiful place, with high mountains all around.  However, sometimes it’s nice to have more light, and to be able to look off into the horizon.
  • I miss Austrian drivers.  Italians are, comparitively, and on average far less well-behaved (and of course there are plenty of exceptions, I’m just talking about averages).   You risk your life every time you walk across a crosswalk.
  • It’s wonderful to have hand carts in the supermarkets.  I have no idea what possesses supermarkets in Innsbruck to never have any .  On the other hand, in Italy, it’s also annoying to have to weigh your own produce, rather than at the checkout, and use the ‘sanitary gloves’ that they provide in Italy.  Just wash your food before  you eat it, sheesh.
  • The snowy cold winters in Innsbruck aren’t bad, actually, however, spring time in Italy is truly something to behold.
  • Padova, as a city, is much more interesting than Innsbruck.
  • Driving up to Innsbruck with the rental truck was quite scary – there was a snowstorm on the Brenner pass as I went over, which would have been a bit unnerving even with our regular car.  With the rental truck, it was downright nerve-wracking.
  • A huge thanks to all our friends who helped with the move: Ingrid, Nigel and Emily, Brad, Andrea, Marco and Raffaella.
  • An even bigger thanks to my in-laws, Ruggero and Marisa, who have done an incredible amount of work to help us out.  Of course, they’ll get their reward: now their granddaughter is very close by and they can see her regularly.
  • Italy is still quite maddening: it’s a stunningly beautiful country with an amazing variety of natural and cultural resources, from the carved woodwork of the German-speaking Sud Tirol area, to the arid beachers of southern Sicily.  However, it has a lot of serious problems that no one has the will to face.

All in all, we’re happy to be back, even if the future is very uncertain in many ways.


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