July 4, 2014

Residency Permit Renewal, Part 1

So you realize, somewhat to your surprise, that you have been in Italy for two years. One of the effects of this is that your permesso di soggiorno, or residency permit, obtained not without difficulty and misadventure (see this post and this post) is getting ready to expire.

It's time to think about applying for a renewal of the residency permit.

The first step in this process, which would seem easy enough, is to collect the 'kit' (English: 'kit') alleged to be "available in all post offices."

So you are reminded that there is a nice-looking post office that you have passed in the course of your regular appointments, and decide to visit the next time you're there. Trying to execute this plan, you find that you have to regard yourself as a silly person for having presumed that a post office would be open as late as early afternoon on a weekday.

Then you admit to yourself that a dedicated trip is going to be necessary and, having checked your insight with a more experienced confrere, decide to visit a larger post office where you have had some good fortune in the past. You leave in the morning and ride the bus to the area of the post office. You take a number. You lend your almost-used-up WSOU pen to a random guy carrying all of his vital documents in his inverted motorcycle helmet. Your number comes up and you go to the window. No, we're out of the kit says the guy. Maybe try the post office near such-and-such subway stop.

So you get on the subway for a couple of stops. Thanks to Google Maps you have a guess as to what post office the guy was talking about. When you get there you have high hopes because the post office seems very fancy, having individual, double automatic doors like an airlock. But unfortunately you find that like many fancy things in Italy, it's fancy for no particular reason and they don't have the kit either. Do you have any advice, you ask the post office guy.

"You have to keep going to post offices." he offers, in a tone that suggests he is explaining something obvious.

By now it's starting to get pretty hot and you might decide to go home so as to be sure to be there for Midday Prayer and dinner, but you think that maybe you have time to try on more post office. Faithfulness is what you have to do with your freedom, you think. So back to Google Maps and a walk to the next closest post office, where your luck doesn't change.

So you turn to find your way home, having spent a morning making no progress on getting the Republic of Italy to allow you to live there another two years. You sit down on the bus and thank God for the gift of the smallest taste of the sufferings and frustrations of foreigners and displaced people, and you pray for all of them, for their strength and safety.

To be continued...

1 comment:

Louis M said...

I'm intrigued :D