One of my favourite quotes is by Martin Luther King Jr. “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase”.
The Vigili, or Polizia di Questura (aka Immigration Cops), have once again come to check on me and you guessed it, I was MIA…missing in action. I certainly hope that these guys don’t expect me to stay home all day until they have completed their task, however if they show up one more time and I am not home Mama may have another stroke! She of course is ALWAYS home, so now she is stressing about when they might show up again and what exactly my schedule is everyday.
Honestly, I am a bit surprised that these guys came a second time and am wondering if the “three strikes and you’re out” rule applies. But, I also had very good reason to be out of the house and was very proud of my small victory. You see, just like in Canada, the Italians have a social medical system. This means that I can obtain affordable health care. But first I must apply for the card. This is where the cart and horse question comes into play…you can’t put your cart before the horse…or can you? Do you get your medical card before or after your residency status? Do you get your Codice Fiscale before or after your Permesso di Soggiorno? Did the chicken or the egg come first? See my dilemma?
The Italian system is a bit of a confused maze with no end and no beginning. I actually did get my Codice Fiscale (work permit) before my Permesso di Soggiorno (living permit). And now, I am proud to say, I have also obtained my “Servizio Sanitario” (medical card-although it sounds to me more like sanitary services) before having my Residency.
The real victory in this story is this: I got my medical card “da solo”*. Yep, that’s right, this chicken went to the Ministry offices alone and in my bastardized Italian was able to explain to the Government dude (without insulting him I hope), that I needed this medical card pronto! And away I went with my golden egg : )
It takes a village…
Admittedly, my Canadian pal Elora inquired beforehand on the logistics and was on her way as my “help line”. But, I was still quite proud of the fact that by the time she arrived I had already completed the task at hand and with our free time we could grab a coffee and browse the Christmas Market.
Let’s face it, I’m not getting any younger and as corny as this may sound, a Medical card is a pretty nice Christmas present : )