It has almost been two months since we arrived at Cagliari Airport with our stuffed backpacks. We spent the first night close to the airport before we rented a car the next morning and drove to our little seaside town. I can’t really describe the feeling of ‘driving home’ so far away from what used to be home. With two backpacks in the trunk of a rental car and not really knowing what’s ahead. I think I mostly tried to convince myself that this was nót a holiday and this was for real. This is where we live now. There is no ‘other home’ to go back to. This is it. We said these words a dozen times since then. ‘We actually líve here!’
I mostly tried to convince myself that this was nót a holiday and this was for real
With the temporary luxury of the rental car we spent the first week driving around, shopping for bigger things. Stocking up on bigger groceries, go to the ‘fai da te’ store (do it yourself). And we miraculously fitted a large houseplant in the back of the car and it survived the drive… The truck with our stuff from Rotterdam would arrive around Christmas, our new mattress was planned around the same time. So we were prepared for quite some time of camping in our own house. We slept on air mattresses on the floor in our sleeping bags and worked at a shaky table and a rickety chair. The first weeks there was lots of work and the importance of proper furniture became more clear than ever. With sore backs and necks and lack of good sleep due to the air mattresses on the cold stone floor, you can imagine how happy we were when we came home one day to find our brand new mattress standing there at our door. Hallelujah!
About a week later, also 3 weeks earlier than expected, our stuff from Rotterdam arrived as well. Two guys from the nearby town, in their small lorry came around the corner with a big messy pile of our boxes in the back. All wobbly and crooked. Oh dear… There was some damage, a lot of dusty dirt on the sofa and some black stains (that luckily came of with textile cleaner) on the light blue fabric, a big dent in our table and one broken plate, but considering the way it was transported it was quite a miracle that was all… Finally a couch to sit on, decent chairs and a desk to work at. My big computer screen, our fluffy blankets… heaven. Once again it became very clear I – still – have way too much stuff. And I actually got rid of so much already before packing. It’s quite clear you don’t need a lot. And still, I haven’t touched much of the ‘new stuff’. Trainers for the win!
The locals are realising gli Olandesi are not going anywhere
By now we are all settled in, the house is starting to look like a home. We know our way around town, found our favorite coffee spot (that has already closed for winter unfortunately), and know where to get the best Pecorino – the Wednesday market! The locals are realising gli Olandesi are not going anywhere. The bikes we had ordered in The Netherlands to be delivered here in Sardegna have also arrived. We have done some grocery shopping rounds in the nearby town with the bigger supermarkets and of course we have been discovering the island a bit more. It is incredibly beautiful!
There has also been lots of administrative stuff going on. We have registered at the municipality, applied for a Carta di Identità – and got one! – and now we are waiting for our SPID request to be approved (a digital identity for Italian citizens to access online services of the Public Administration) so we can register as liberi professionisti and start working as freelancers in Italy paying our taxes here. Once that is done, the biggest administrative hurdles have been taken. I hope….
We light up the fireplace every now and then and sit there staring at the flames, feeling extremely lucky
All of this is of course happening in the middle of covid measures. Our region is usually a yellow zone, which means restaurants are closed after 6 PM, there’s a curfew between 10 PM and 5 AM, masks and disinfectants everywhere, but we can pretty much do whatever we like as long as we keep within the region. And for the holidays (which lasts until tomorrow) Italy is a red zone, meaning a strict lockdown. No unnecessary movements, not leaving your own town and all restaurants, bars and shops are closed, except for supermarkets and pharmacies. It has been raining a lot lately, so there’s not really anywhere to go anyway. And our house is all cosy – although a bit cold – so we don’t really mind. We light up the fireplace every now and then and sit there staring at the flames, feeling extremely lucky.