Oh how I dream of days where I can frolic in the sea without a care in the world…but first I must finish my driving license saga and renew my Immigration Visa. The fun just never stops!
I was told by a few sources that I should start the process of renewal months in advance…I didn’t do this because I had other fish to fry. As the date drew closer, I had the good fortune to meet a really nice Italian girl, who is also stunningly pretty, (never hurts to have too many cute Italian girfriends), and as an added bonus, she is super smart and works in Human Resources! She has “connections” at the Questura, i.e. immigration dungeon, and she offered to help me 🙂 Yay!
A week before my Visa expires and we met up at the gates at 7:30 a.m. I am not a morning person so I struggled to find my sense of humour and wits about me. My friend is use to going into the main entrance and meeting with the big Kahuna upstairs so this was something new for her, to be going into the cattle entrance.
There’s a gate with overstaffed security dudes just waiting to pounce on the poor Immigrant who dares to approach. Why they cannot simply put a STOP sign there so people know they are supposed to stop and produce their Passports is beyond me. My friend didn’t know this and so she proceeded to walk right past them and through the turnstile. Dumbfounded, I just followed her.
Well, as you can imagine, a nanosecond later we had three angry security officers facing us like we were terrorists. My friend is petite and adorable, I mean seriously? Does she look like the kind of person who wants to blow up a Questura? Maybe I do…but her, no way!
Anyway, she apologized to the large dude who was towering over her and I whipped out my Passport and Italian Residence card as a peace offering. Instead, he berated her and told her that she should have known better and that we were not entering a Supermarket! Seriously, dude, she made an honest mistake and I for one did not appreciate his attitude or comment.
Then…the big Kahuna boss saw us from his window and came down to give my friend kisses hello and greet me with a friendly smile and “oh, you must be the Canadian girl I heard about”. Of course, the security dude backed off and lit a cigarette.
Unfortunately, we still had to wait in a cold, dank room for another three hours until we finally just bullied our way to the clerk’s window. I showed her my papers and she took one look at it and said “it’s still valid until May 7th, so come back next week on the 7th!”
Everyone I asked said to start the process 30-60 days beforehand 😦
We asked her if she could start the process now as we had been waiting for three hours already and she just said no. The only thing she was willing to do was give me some stamp that allows me to bypass taking a ticket at the security gate and having to wait another three hours. Although, I am sure I will still have to wait…
And, they say it will take a month to get my new one and I will need this important document in order to take my driving exam. Ugh.
So, we spent three hours at the Questura for nothing, nada, zip, zilch, niente. Welcome to Italy. The land where they make up the rules depending on their moods, coffee breaks and whether or not they feel you have suffered enough to be allowed to stay.