Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Hurdles
Watch her break the world record!

Five hours and 150 euro later (170 if you count the 20 euro we will spend on additional fanny packs for the other men in the group) we managed to do the following things:

in primis, F made two loaves of his wonderful sourdough bread for Manuela, our wonderful lawyer. Because. It feels wrong not to pay a lawyer that talented something exhorbitant. We are from New York, after all.

We met Paul and drove to Montecatini to pick up Cool at the post office where he had gotten his stay permit kit.

We found Manuela's office. 

We provided her with passports, back up documents which we have scanned for our group and their respective family members, and we were not missing even one document. Insert pat on back here.

This is my face when stressed; F said I bit my lips off.

Manuela completed two "kits;" the application for the stay permit seemed to be challenging even for her so you can only imagine if a mere foreign mortal wanted to try to complete it without the help of an expert. She thanked us for the bread. She warned me not to let the article in which I criticized the police's practice of emptying the pockets of immigrants when they are suspected or caught begging for money, regardless of whether or not they are pleasant and not aggressive when doing so, and regardless of the fact that people in my group's category have no other possible way to survive. She told me I could face charges myself in doing so. I called Nadia and sent a message asking her to desist. Then I made copies of those texts, just in case. 

From there we drove the guys to the police station where Cool needed to report his wallet stolen before he could request a new one. We waited for half an hour and then we sat in front of police officer who helped us to print out the form. He was kind to us, but I would never want to see him angry.

The GPS was telling me how to get to the police station as I helped F navigate. Cool got anxious and started talking over the directions, insisting her knew the way. He knew the way, but he made us stop five blocks too soon. While F parked the car, I ran after Cool and Paul lagged behind me. We were under the impression that the police station was going to close within ten minutes. They weren't. I was wearing slip on shoes and I had to tense my muscles to keep them on and keep up with him. When I got home I had a huge swelling on my tendon from the stress. Ice, elevate, stress, repeat. I knew the GPS was right, but I felt it was important for Cool to have me listen to him and to be in control of his situation at that moment so I let him lead. I would probably do it again, if I'm honest.

Next we went to the tobacco store to make xeroxes of the documents we needed for the post office. 

Then we went to the post office. The coded tickets have a corresponding computerized message board to guide you to the right window. It is confusing because ticket number 030 can have a euro sign in front of it, but it can also have an envelope symbol in front of it, or the symbol of an arrow and you have to know only to approach the window when the number with the right symbol flashes momentarily on the message board. We finally got our turns and our agents told both Cool and me and Paul and F we had to return back to the tobacco store and back to the police station because they didn't know how much to charge us and because we needed to buy a kind of postage stamp called the Marca da bollo for 16 euros a piece. 

scratch and win!

Then I called both lawyers to get clarity on the price of the fee. Even though they said we shouldn't have to pay to replace stolen stay permits, the post office seemed to diagree so we ended up choosing to pay the lowest choice option just in case. We went back to the tobacco store and we bought the guys some water because I didn't know how long they had gone without.

don't sue us today

We returned to the post office and got the applications completed and appointments for both men to have their finger prints taken again in September. Then we took pictures of their receipts in case they get stopped by police in the meanwhile. 

please, lady . .

Then Stanli, Cool's brother was begging/working in front of our house and so we made a copy of his new permesso that we helped him get in case he gets in more trouble. Up and down five flights of stairs, F looked hangry at us. Then he had lunch and he was sweet again. 

Then I spoke to Tina and she said she would be sending me the number of her landlord to negotiate with. She hasn't so I have never been able to relax. Nadia is saying she wants to help us "paint," which is great if she doesn't turn it into a photo shoot. 

I gave Cool and earful in the car because he never told me his permesso was missing because he was worried about my reaction. If I hadn't had a voice tell me to call him, we would have had to do all this on two separate days, which would have been hell. I told him that he had to trust me to help him at the time when the problem is happening because otherwise it just makes it harder. When we said goodbye Cool called me his angel and then I gave Paul a kiss on his ear and I told him, "Listen son of mine, be good." And he was happy. Finally. 

But I would be lying if I said this was easy. 

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