More business to attend to
Today is Thursday. I am saying that more to myself than anything because it becomes harder to keep track of the days as we go along. Yesterday we had a bit of a monkey wrench thrown at us. We expected that we would be able to apply for our “permesso di soggiorno” at the Universita where we will study. We were even given an appointment for Friday from the ladies in the office there, only to find out yesterday from the Questura (the division of the police that handles these permits of stay) at the Universita that we could not do it there. Since we do not have a Student Visa we have to go to the regular Questura down in the lower part of town to apply. You are required to do this within eight days of arriving and we were worried that this would be a problem if we didn’t get in for an appointment on Friday (what would they do? Fine us? Throw us out of the country? Who knows!). The way this system works, we are told, is that you get there as early in the morning as possible – they are only open Monday, Wednesday and Fridays – and get in line. Hopefully you get in that day. If not, you must come back the next day, and so on. This has given me a lot of anxiety and I will be glad when it is over and done. We have decided we will take a taxi in the early morning since it is not that close to our apartment. One of the documents we must show is like a contract for the apartment. Happily our landlord, the lovely Signore Romizzi dated it April 4th – which is Monday so I think that helps in not putting us over the eight-day limit of arrival. One less detail to worry about. I am working hard to use my Italian and he speaks a little English. Many of the people we have spoken to do, although it is not universal. Since there seem to be a lot of American students here, around the University it is more prevalent.
Last night we realized that we had accidentally left some of the papers we will need for the Permesso at home! I know you won’t believe this, but these are the same financial papers we had to fax over to the consulate to prove we have enough resources to live here – I am just as astonished at this lapse of intelligence as you must be in reading about it, but nevertheless it’s true! It was so crazy at the end of our time in our house, packing and getting ready, trying to remember everything that some things were left behind (yikes, you say!) The time difference between Italy and Arizona is 9 hours (we are ahead here). We have not yet managed to get the cell phone all worked out so we are having to use the pay phones. Fortunately there are many here and you purchase a phone card and punch in the numbers and you are all set. I’m sure it’s more expensive this way but at least you can make calls. Not exactly the most convenient thing however so I am anxious to have our own cell phone. We really freaked out when we realized we didn’t have everything we will need for the Permesso and didn’t know what we would do. At first we thought “Oh well, we’ll just see how it goes and if we have to, we’ll send for those papers. Perhaps they won’t need them after all.” Then we thought better of that and at l:30 in the morning (4:30 pm the day before in AZ) we were traipsing around Perugia looking for a phone and trying to make some calls to get our papers faxed (we decided that the real estate office who helped us find the apartment would be the best place to have them sent). Bleary eyed we tried to make the calls and couldn’t get through and didn’t understand why the phone cards or the phones weren’t working! We must have tried 3 or 4 different phones (outside on the street, next to buildings or on the wall of a building there are these glass booths with modern public telephones). We were quite exasperated and decided to go into a bar in the downtown that didn’t seem too busy and ask to use their telephone. It was then that we discovered we were using the wrong country code for the U.S. and that was why we were having so much trouble! We got through to our Wachovia consultant and other investment people and decided that they should not only fax these to us, but email them as well so that we can print them here. We have already used the Internet Café and the woman there knows us by name now. We feel pretty foolish and hope this all works out OK. As I write, Bob is off checking our email to see if anything came through yet and to let Michela at the real estate office know to expect a fax for us.
On a good note, we love this city. There are the most amazing views from several vantage points to the valley below. The streets twist and turn up and down (we are getting much needed exercise) and almost every street is a picture postcard. We are discovering all these wonderful little shops (negozii) to buy all sorts of delicious things. We have cooked meals in our little apartamento and had fresh bread and local wine and of course, gelato. We are making cappuccino here in our own kitchen. There are at least two movie theaters that show both Italian and English language films.
We do miss our family and friends though and will be happier still when we get our own phone and can be more reachable. And once we get all of this official business out of the way.
Today we will meet Professoressa Anna Comodi – a friend of our Italian teacher from Phoenix College, Anna.
Our landlords came by today and answered a bunch of questions we had and brought us lounge chairs for the garden and two potted geraniums for the window sill. They are very sweet and helpful and we feel fortunate to be in this place. We learned yesterday that the area we are in, called Porta Sole, was referred to by the famous Dante Alighieri in his “Divine Comedy” –
“whereby Perugia feels cold and heat,
through Porta Sole, and behind
Nocera laments its heavy yoke with Gualdo.”
Not having read Dante, I was not familiar with this quote and don’t really understand it. But we think it’s pretty cool that Dante wrote about this neighborhood we live in!
Please let us know if you are reading this and life is going for you. Please use the comments link if you are following the blog and let us know you are out there!
Rosamaria e Roberto