My first morning in Bologna was a pretty comical one in which I found myself locked out of our apartment for over an hour. Something to note: there are five different keys that go to five different gates and doors that lead to our apartment.Three of these keys I use frequently; one to get through the gate that leads to our stairwell, one to get into another gate that leads to our apartment and two other apartments, and a final key that opens our front door. The two other keys open the gate to the elevator and the gate to the corte downstairs which locks every night around 2:00am. Basically, a lot to keep track of.
So on my first morning in Italy, my set of keys were not yet ready and my boyfriend was letting me use his set for the day while he was in class. I let him out the front gate (since it locks from the inside too, naturally) and told him that I would see him that evening. I then tried to unlock our front door which, of course, locks automatically when closed. No matter what I did, this door would not unlock.
I started getting a bit frazzled and ran downstairs, hoping to find Evan somewhere on the street. I had been in Bologna for about 14 hours at this point and had no idea where his school was. Did I mention my phone only worked when connected to wifi?
After unsuccessfully locating him on the street, I decided it was best for me to head back upstairs, connect to what little wifi signal I could get through the door, and try to Facebook message him to help me out. After messaging him multiple times and not getting a response (he was in a class and didn’t see the messages till afterward) I started messaging one of my best friends back in California for help. Clearly, I was desperate.
After sending her pictures of the door, a picture of the keys, having her google how to open European doors, and trying almost everything except for taking an axe to the door, I was getting very frustrated.
Finally, his class ended and he saw all my messages. After trying to coach me how to open the door through message and several dropped Viber calls, he ended up walking home to show me in person. Turns out it’s a push the key in, pull the door out, twist a quarter-turn to the left kinda thing. I should have known.