Thursday, March 30, 2006

Update on the Permesso di Soggiorno 3.23.06

I have a few minutes today so I thought I'd catch up on some writing. Jessica is now into her third week with us and it has been so wonderful to have her with us in Sicily and to show her the land of her ancestors. Yesterday her friend Michelle arrived from the states to spend this week with us. On Tuesday they will both return home. Her flight was supposed to land at 11:45am yesterday but the last leg of it was cancelled from Milan to Catania and she didn't end up getting here until around 6pm last evening. To make matters worse, her luggage did not arrive with her and we were worried that it had been lost. Still not sure, we have been told that it is in Milan but should be here with the next two days. Michelle is so good-natured that she has taken all of this in stride and is out sightseeing with Jessica and Bob. I volunteered to stay behind in case the airline miraculously finds the bag and decides to bring it straightaway to us in Marina di Ragusa. Probably an unlikely scenario but I am trying to think positive. This also gives me a few minutes to myself, which is not altogether a bad thing.

But about the Permesso:

Jessica arrived here on the 8th of March and on the 9th we stopped in at the Comune here in Marina to find that our paperwork from Perugia had finally arrived! This meant we were able to get our Certifcato di Residenza that says we are now residents of Marina di Ragusa and could now apply for renewal of our Permessi di Soggiorno. Overjoyed, we called Elio who had a friend in the Questura who we hoped would be able to assist us in the process and he was able to arrange for us to go to the office that day. We thought we had absolutely everything we needed to apply but, goofballs that we can be sometimes, we forgot about the Marca da Bollo (the tax stamp you purchase at a Tabacchi that is the fee for filing the form) and did not have it with us. We were told to return on Monday morning with our little passport photos, the tax stamp, the previous original Permesso di Soggiorno, the Certificate of Residency, proof of income and copies of our passports. We were kicking ourselves, because we would have been all done had we thought about the tax stamp but were delighted that it seemed so easy and are once again grateful to Elio for coming to our aid.

On Monday morning bright and early we showed up back at the Questura where we learned that we also needed to be fingerprinted (I guess the ones from the FBI were not good enough now) and Elio's friend helped us through the process and even had the letter that declared that Bob has agreed to share his pension with me translated. We were given a date of May 4th to return for the final permesso and we were all set! All we need to do now is go pick it up.

The other detail to be taken care of was to change our address finally (we've only been here since December and honestly thought this would not have taken so long!) so that we can update our Carta di Identita and our car insurance information. Had we moved to one place permanently, this all would be a much simpler process but because we have decided to live in different areas, we will have to do this change of address thing every time we move and must just be patient and hope it all goes smoothly each time. Two down, two more to go!

So all my sleeplessness and worry seemed for nothing (as is often the case!) and all is well. So thanks to all of you who expressed concern and sent words of support. So far so good on this great adventure of ours.

Now I just got a call from the gang who has been sightseeing in Modica that they are on their way back here. I have a pot of chicken soup cooking, which I must go and attend to. So I'll say ciao for now and write more soon about all the adventures we've had with Jessica and now Michelle in the last few weeks.

A presto!

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