We arrived in Italy 10 days ago. We had everything planned, 3 weeks or so helpxing and a few days off before flying on. It felt great to be back in Europe and we didn’t have to do any more searching or booking or decision making. And then we were dumped! By Adje, our helpx host.
She was a strange lady, adamant that we should do things our way while, at the same time, finding fault and imposing her way of doing things. This and a lack of proper tools for the job made things difficult and Adje was quite sensitive and kept asking if we were ok or if she’d offended us as she didn’t want things to go wrong. We suspected she might have had other HelpXers who had bailed out. We tried to get on with her and thought we were doing ok, working till about 3 pm on her beautiful Umbrian farmhouse, then going for a stroll in the afternoon. There wasn’t much else to do as it was miles from anywhere and we were totally dependent on Adje for getting anywhere.
On Monday Adje invited a very nice Dutch couple for dinner and we had an interesting evening and talked about the festival on May 1. The next day Sean and I left for an overnight stay in Rome.
Rome is beautiful, the weather was glorious, we had some great food and walked all over the city. On the way back we texted Adje to say our train was on time and got a very terse reply accusing us of being late, which we weren’t. When she picked us up at the station she was clearly angry and we were subjected to a stony silence for the 20 minute drive home. When we got there I asked if everything was ok and she insisted that we had come back late, that there were ‘other things’ that were wrong, and that it would be better if we left.
This was a real pain. We had nowhere to go, it would affect all our later plans and funds are getting pretty low. We spent the rest of the evening (with no dinner) on the internet trying to find somewhere to stay and to think what to do next. We ended up with one night in Arezzo, thinking of getting in touch with our next host to see if we could go to her early. We then realised she has another couple with her at the moment. After another day of agonising and working out the budget we realised that the best thing would be to go home. We can’t afford an extended holiday in Italy without working and, after the last helpx experience, we’re not sure if we can rely on the next one working out. Especially as the two women are friends.
So we’ve made the decision, hopefully done the last bit of planning and booking, have 2 nights in Florence, 2 in Pisa and then home on Tuesday. We can’t get into the house straight away so will be staying with Dad and Pearl for a few days. It will be good to be settled again but it’s a shame the trip had to come to such an abrupt end.