Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sweet permesso at last
When you look up permesso di soggiorno under google, you get this picture:

This picture:

And then, this picture:

Well, we are in Italy after all.

You can't be in Italy for more than three months without a permesso. For us the permesso has been a heart wrenching, nail biting, ear piercing (see story below) nine month ordeal.

But the trip to the police station/Questura was a little different this time. Sure there was the very same sound of a frightening contagious sounding cough and the same shrill tones of a bundled up baby crying, but this time we had an in. T was brilliant enough to have happened to befriend a girl in her class whose mom job happens to be processing permesso di soggiorno's at the Questura of Lucca. Funny that Anna, the mom, seems fairly unnoticeable in her police uniform/diviso, but oddly stunning and barbie doll like out of uniform so that
we didn't notice her very much before we knew her socially.  Luckily she wasn't in front of us at the window when we got rejected the other million times before now.

As soon as Anna arrived at the agreed on time, she beckoned us over with a smile to come to a new window that she opened and come to the head of line. The man who was second in the already formed line to our left became completely irate and starts yelling in italian about "aren't we all supposed to be equal here?" with lots of foot stamping, snorting, and general hurrumphing. Anna just smiles and shrugs. Usually the social workers in us would have come out and made us feel a little guilty for the special treatment, but not this time. We suffered for these little ID card looking babies. We sweat and cried for them and bothered UN workers, diplomats and journalists.  We lived with fleas for goodness sake and had to tape off our clothes and stamp around in white socks and make traps of soapy water, for cryin' out loud.

So anyway, Anna smiles at us and tells us to check the permessi. The words blur and whirl around in front of our exhausted eyes.  They seem fine.  K rummages around in her pocket until she finds a hair parlour receipt on which she can write a little note thanking Anna for being santa with a scrawled picture of an xmas tree at the top. We get outside and take a closer look at our treasures and see that T's middle name is misspelled.

Now we have to go back in there and wait on the line again and brave the wrath of the disgruntled guy, yikes! In the end, we decide to live with it since no one will ever notice and we have to renew before the end of august anyway.  On the way home through the porta of our new city, we think we are so glad that we know what went wrong and can live with it

The rule of life here is: All bureaucratic things take a minimum of two trips to do same thing; and one thing must go wrong or it's not right.

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