November 20, 2012

A Little Rationalization

Apparently the current project of this foreigner is supposed to be the Italian carta d'identità, the 'identity card.' Unfortunately, I just haven't yet found the energy to do it. As far as I can tell, it would involve leaving around six in the morning and taking a combination of buses and trains to get to the place (either 3 and 0 or 1 or 2 and 2, it seems to me), an adventure which I would probably have to repeat anyway, guessing that the first attempt would be just to figure out the place and the required procedures, how many photocopies of exactly what, arcane tax stamps, etc., are required. So, given also that I'm not sure I even need this thing, I haven't yet found the energy for this project, as I say. It is, I'm told, a prerequisite step to obtaining an Italian driver's license, which is supposed to be a difficult project in itself. "The questions are designed to make you err," one of the brothers said of the test. But I'm not really sure I would even want an Italian driver's license.

So, I was thinking of what I would say when and if I am ever challenged on my failure to have yet executed this project of getting the carta d'identità. It occurred to me that I could say that it was culturally insensitive to ask me to obtain such a thing; to us Americans, a national identity card seems like an instrument of totalitarianism and thus contrary to our ideals. Everyone else seems to benefit from the cult of cultural sensitivity, so why shouldn't I?

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