It's a miracle that I am able to post today. I just returned from the Comune to check on my residency.
Last time I went a nice older lady had given us slips of paper with numbers on them. Once we got inside there was a system. All the people who came after us who were pushing and shoving couldn't jump us in line. I thought it was great. I got there at 7:30 a.m. an hour before the office opened. Why should someone who rolls in around 8:30 get ahead of me? I learned my lesson the last time I showed up at opening hours. The Comune runs out of tickets within five minutes.
Unfortunately nobody was that organized on the line this morning. I got there at 7:20 a.m. Everyone who came up after me asked what number was I? The men at the front said the numbers were finished. That was a bold face lie. There were no numbers. People standing on line were afraid of the intense, heavily tattooed Albanian men at the front. This American guy (his parents are Italian) who was next to me said all their friends were jumping the line and no one dare said a world.
Once the doors opened, it was crazy. People were running to the office. Then folks started pushing, hard. I ended up shoved against a closed glass door. As I was standing there unable to breathe, I asked the good Lord to spare my life. It would suck to die so soon after arriving in Italy.
One of the guards yelled at the people who were pushing and took my arm and helped me into the room. Another employee who always seems to be yelling at people, took my forms. I didn't see the Michael Chiklis look alike today. While I was waiting for information, an Italian woman kept arguing with one of the employees. An Italian man who I believe was a priest or at least a theological student by his attire, slammed his papers down on the counter, said BASTA! (enough) and proceeded to let the woman have it. A few of us had to hold back from laughing. Homegirl really pushed him to the edge. The whole scene was absurd. I wish my Italian was stronger so I could've understand what everyone was arguing about. The employee returned to the counter and said my papers will be ready this week. Yeah.
The downside is I have to return to that office. I tried to ask one of the guards in Italian if there was any special form I should have. He walked me over to another office where there was a woman who was bi-lingual. In English we talked about the madness that happens every morning. I really feel for the people that work there. I'm sure they get great benefits as state or city employees but I know I would lose it.
This morning several immigrants cursed out the security guards when the numbers ran out, others didn't have all their paperwork and then there are folks who can't really speak Italian (like myself). I walked out a 9:00 a.m. and felt like I had been there all week. ha.
I have to mentally prepare myself for my next trip.