Monday, July 29, 2013

Never in one go
If I had to give one single reason why not everyone in the world packs up their lives and moves to Tuscany, it would have to be that line at the post office to renew your permesso di soggiorno. Very helpfully, F explained to me that out of the two choices of postal workers that were available that day one was lovely and knew her stuff and the other one was a complete disaster. This upped my anxiety by a factor of twelve. The smart, efficient lady had neat red, curls and the disaster one had matted, wild black hair that made her look like Marcy from the Snoopy cartoons.And the other one looked like Sally, more or less.

We couldn't figure out the weird sign which explains which button you have to
push on the ticket machine to get your number.  We got the wrong one and the disaster lady sent us to get new tickets, one for each of us. That's okay, I consoled F, maybe we will get lucky and get the good lady next time. Fifteen minutes later the good lady took me and sent F to the disaster lady. The disaster lady had a panic attack because out of the hundreds of little boxes we filled out, we had left one blank. Then she threatened to make F refill his ticket because he had not written in capital letters. My nice lady told her to relax and that our print looks like their cursive because we are Americans, but it is still acceptable because we can't do any better. But she smiled nicely when she said it.

Then the moment I was dreading arrived where the computer generates an automatic ticket with our date to go to the police station. We are going on vacation mid-month, and I was worried that our appointment would just happen to fall during those ten days. And yup sure enough it is. Actually, it's even worse because F and I didn't even get appontments on the same day. Luckily, Anna Maria said we could go to the police station tomorrow and she will sort it out for us. The rule in Italy is you can never get your paperwork done in just one go.

Our next task was to go to the ASL which is the health office where we were supposed to renew our health cards. F led me up and over a series of stone steps and through a tunnel under the walls of the city for one of his famous short cuts. It was tricky to navigate in heels, but it was well worth it because when we got there it was all dark and locked up. This would have been worse had it happened to us in year one, but now I have numbers in my cell phone. So F and I did what we always do when we don't know what to do and we called Nazarena, our Italian teacher. Nazarena found out that the ASL is now inside the hospital of Lucca, where, it turns out, you need an appointment to renew your health cards. Both the permesso di soggiorno and the tessera sanitaria have deadlines by which they are no longer good and if you don't renew them before that date, you have to start the whole application process over again from the beginning. It is very Lucy and the football. Every time we go through this I think it will get done in one shot and then . . .

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