As I have been in Florence, Italy 14 days now, I could write about the maze of streets lined with ancient buildings and cobble stoned paving that once had and still have great poets and painters stroll along them, or the piazzas, museums and churches around every corner that have been standing longer in time than I can put into perspective or the narrow footpaths that 100’s of people share in harmony, or the way the buses and cars patiently give way to pedestrians and push bikes allowing the city to flow effortlessly.
But what is consuming me right now is my effort to be able to stay in this country and therefore dealing with the government bodies.
I have a 1 year visa issued in Australia but everyone of authority snickers and asks me why I bothered.
This is not a complaint, far from it. I find it very amusing….although my husband doesn’t.
We started at the tax code office, who were really easy to deal with, they were very quick to give us a tax number. The lovely gentleman behind the desk there wanted to spend his morning talking about the kangaroos in Australia.
Now we need a residency card before we can do anything else, so we head off to the Comune which to me is a cross between a local council and a social security office. The woman there sends us on a 20 minute bus ride to an office in the middle of nowhere ……to make an appointment in 1 months time…….back at the Comune.
One day when I’ll put all this information with correct details into a blog in order to help the next person on this journey but right now it is all a bit of a haze.
We have been to the Immigration office – what an experience. We were told to get there at 7.00am to get a number….. so we did, in the dark and freezing cold we took our number and waited, although the staff don’t start work until 8.30am.
We have walked the length of this city and back again on this journey (absorbing everything around us as we pass by and stopping for coffee along the way) in an effort to find the person to help us move forward as waiting a month is cutting things to fine for us.
This morning after visiting a prospective apartment to live in, we found ourselves passing the Comune again, so we decided to go in once again to ask if it was possible to get something in writing to show the real estate agents and the bank that we had started the residency card process. Well, we struck gold!
We came across 2 lovely ladies, Laura and Claudia who had all the time in the world to help us.
We found ourselves explaining our situation (by ‘we’ I mean my husband, as I am still at the ‘mute and may as well be deaf as well’ stage, totally oblivious to what is being said around me). They were kind enough to help us with the finer details of the forms that needed to be filled out. One of the questions was the origin of my husband’s parents to which his answer was Oppido Mamertina.
Oppido Mamertina, in Reggio Calabria.
No….never heard of it.
Yes …that is where all of our paperwork has been sent.
So to their amusement they Googled it.
Yes it did exist, and yes there was a phone number they could ring. They found this hilarious, laughing with each other, with us laughing at them.
So Google saved the day, they had the paperwork emailed to them this afternoon….and we are on our way.