One of the downsides of buying things abroad is the requirement of shipping things home. I come from a very long line of excellent packers (my grandmother, a refugee many times over, claimed that she could pack anything to withstand any sort of travel – train, boat, plane, recalcitrant postal systems – and I confidently believe that I have inherited that gene.) I pack with ‘plan for the worst and expect the best’ attitude always in mind… (Kind of reminds me of this old Samsonite commercial).
But no matter how well I pack, when I ship from Italy, there is another element I need to contend with: the teeny-tiny little post office in the town where I stay is kind of like a cross between the neighborhood trattoria, the kind of bank where little old ladies come in with bags of unrolled pennies (or in this case Euros), and the proverbial train station where all wickets have a ‘closed for the day’ sign.
You see, in Italy, post offices – or at least this post office – is the place where you can catch up with your neighbors, get a mortgage, find (or lose) your welfare check,and occasionally mail a letter or a package. It is not a place designed for speed or efficiency. It is a hold-over from Mussolini’s era, and there is nothing (or no one)who can change the snail’s pace of business. (When I have the time and inclination,I drive just over the border to Switzerland and mail things there. Infinitely cheaper, scads faster – Giulian always notices that the Swiss postal works don’t even get chairs!! – but not always convenient.
So today, when most of the packages I sent made their way to the gallery (some were already sent back to sender – me – while I was still in Italy because they were missing some kind of arcane customs form) I was overjoyed. (Surprised, I will admit, but overjoyed). There, in my beautifully packed boxes and envelopes were some of the fabulous pieces I picked up in Parma and other spots. We are shooting,inventorying and listing them just as fast as we can, so for now you’ll have to take my word for it: there’s something for everyone – horse posters (of course), fashion pieces, vintage pin-ups, 16th and 17th century engravings and etchings… a bonanza!!
We’re excited and a little overwhelmed with our new stock but I promise we will show them to you SOON! Here are some of the new arrivals: