Do I have to learn the national anthem now?
Guess what, guys? Today, after about 6 months of paperwork, stamps, photocopies, more photocopies and general confusion, I have finally reached the light at the end of the tunnel. I am now a legal resident of Italy.
Just so you have an idea of the twists and turns and loop de loops that I have gone through with my fellow non EU-citizens, here are the top 10 greatest hits.
1. Proving to the Italian Consulate of San Francisco that I did indeed graduate from high school. Seems quite obvious…
2. Receiving an appointment for foreigner assistance in Bra (the legal process is so complicated that the Immigration Office itself actually recommends using this independent service) at the same time as three other classmates. When is the last time you had a dentist appointment with 3 other people at the same time? Exactly.
3. The foreigner assistance employee remained on her iPhone with both headphones in throughout the duration of all four appointments. Rude. Strange.
4. Trying to walk through the bulletproof (why are they bulletproof?) doors at the Italian Post Office. It’s like a revolving door but also not.
5. Being required to watch a 6 hour documentary concerning “Italian civic formation.” We utilized the fast-forward feature…
6. An Immigration Officer managed to take 2 full sets of my fingerprints while drinking a liter of Fanta at 10 AM.
7. I now have four different sets of passport photos floating around because I needed 4 identical photos. Sigh. Maybe I should make a collage. Or at least now I can compare my haircuts in the past two years.
8. Deciphering a two-part cryptic text message instructing me to pick up my permit of stay at precisely 12:38 PM (not 12:00, not 1:00, but 12:38) today.
9. Realizing upon entering the Immigration Office waiting room at 11:59 that everyone would just sit there until the Fanta fingerprinting guy got off his cell phone and got to work.
10. The pickup order was determined by how quickly you could cram your postal receipt in his hand when he finally entered the waiting room. I guess Italians don’t like appointments much?
Well, I’m glad that’s done.
Headed back home to California for holiday break tomorrow afternoon. Stay tuned for commentary on just how much I have missed avocados and kombucha.