The wheels of bureaucracy in
The visas decorating our passports allowed us to enter the country for a year. Normal tourists can stay up to 90 days and then must take their baggage and leave. To be here officially we need the permits. We dutifully went on our first day here, accompanied by Giorgio and Francesca, and went through the whole rigamorole of being finger-printed, weighed, measured (height) and questioned. (Read all about it in the archives from May.) We were given our ricevuto, a kind of receipt adorned with a tiny photo face-shot saying we’d applied for said permit. And then we began to wait. And wait. And wait.
We returned a couple weeks ago to inquire about the status, but were told that we’d “only applied in May”…how could we possibly expect they’d be ready yet? Maybe September, he said. September; we were aghast. Well, he said, you know it is almost August and there are the vacation schedules…and he mumbled other things I could not hear nor comprehend, speaking as he was into a crackly microphone through the plexiglass window, with a full room of foreign spectators behind me creating a cacophony. We left understanding enough – the permessos wouldn’t be ready for some time.
Today we returned armed with Francesca, a gal who knows her way around bureaucracy. She was packing a weapon – the name of an employee. “It’s the only way,” we were told. “You have to know someone.” Unfortunately, that someone is (predictably) on vacation. Nonetheless, we were again told that we’d only applied in May, so why the impatience? Francesca explained about our friends and their coveted appointment in
And so we wait. And wait. And wait.
copyright 2006 Valerie Schneider