Thursday, May 05, 2016

And then I almost got arrested  

If you are new to the blog, let me catch you up. This is me:
On the crazy scale, here I only look like a 4.
I am a crazy, burned out social worker:
This is me hanging out in T's room while she's out school trying to prepare myself for the fact that she is going away for the summer. Pathetic much?
I moved my husband and daughter to Italy and we are not Italian and we didn't have work here.
I ended up taking up the cause of a bunch of African immigrants who are really getting a raw deal in Italy.
Wisdom is home at last.
Jennifer's discharge from the hospital was delayed. Cool was out of his mind with worry and sleep deprivation. We gave him a ride to the hospital with us. When we finally came to pick her up, the staff could not have seemed to care less. They made no effort to give us any after-care information and based on my stubborness and intuition, I called the hospital after we got back. I found out that, yes, in small print, in the Italian discharge letter there was an indication that without this medication she could become infected and that the baby vitamins had to be without vitamin K because they had done an injection while the baby was in the hospital.

I did not get the idea that the new family knew about SIDS or baby sleep positions or burping, but we don't always speak the same language so I can't be sure. I offered what I could. They would not use the baby car seat we worked so hard to provide and held the baby on their laps on the highway. When we got back to their house they had a ton of supplies, but no diapers. Maybe they were going to use cloth, which would be an economical choice. I don't know. I bought them some diapers.

Then today I almost got arrested. Cool's brother Stanley tends to be aggressive in his panhandling technique, and he has racked up a bunch of tickets from the police because even though he would starve to death otherwise and live on the street -- begging is illegal. Today he got searched because we had asked him to deliver the medication Jennifer needed to her. The police, who I imagine searched him illegally for standing still in a place that he has been known to panhandle in the past, said that if he had money for medicine, he should have paid his tickets and they wrote him a new one. According to him, he was not even begging at the time.

I called the number on his ticket and the agent told me I would have to come to the police station. I went to the station where I received mixed treatment, some rude and some polite, while I waited for the agent who wrote the ticket. He silenced me immediately and recited the anti-begging law to me. I dropped a bunch of names that he knew, which is the Italian way, and then I started yelling at the officer because he wouldn't listen. He told me that the fact that this guy would die without begging was a humanitarian argument and not a legal one, and I could almost respect that coming from him, but then he started talking about cameras. I told him to get me the damn film because witnesses say that Stanley wasn't begging. And the medicine they found on him was a vaginal medication so it was hardly for his personal use. 

Then Stanley started behaving in a less than smart or respectful way from his posture to his attitude so I got angry at him and defended the officer. This was partly just showmanship so that I didn't get Stanley to have a bigger target on him since I could see we were going to lose this battle. I offered to pay Stanley's tickets, but he said the officers were stupid and it was too much money for anyone to ever pay (50 euros). In the end, although one of the officers snarled and me and stormed off, the main one now knows we are watching what they do and he may lay off Stanley which was our goal.

This all went down after I took Paul back to meet the Michelin star Chef at his restaurant in an attempt to get Paul a dishwashing job. The chef did not respond to my confirmation text in time and it was only afterwards that I saw he had written me to say he would not be at work because he had a fever. That turned out to be half true because while he did have a fever, I did hunt him down at the restaurant and achieved my goal of the day which was to be seen by him and to have Paul seen by him. He said Paul could come back Saturday, but if he has the same flu I just had, I am willing to bet he won't be out of bed after today.

And then Paul laughed at me because I made him use hand sanitizer and he assured me that in Nigeria, hospitals are really filthy so they don't believe in germs.

Then I went to work and my English class and I had a really depressing conversation about immigration for like two hours because I don't understand the world anymore.

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