Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Get Set...


We went back to the Comune and went straight to the Dirigente (director) as per the suggestion of La Signora (last name Starita, henceforth, La Starita). The Dirigente greeted us nicely and then turned foul. "What are you doing? What am I supposed to do about this? Oh, you were here on Thursday? And you spoke with La Dottoressa (Starita) and Roberto? No one told me you've already been here. They should have resolved this by themselves. What can I do? You, Signora, screwed up when you didn't put your daughter on your residency. You should have known that. Yes, the child follows the mother anagraficamente, follows her residency, but how I am I supposed to know she hasn't been living with the father all this time, hm? And how could you have known to tell the people at the Comune di Chiaia that you had a daughter? They should have asked you. Ah, Roberto, yes come in. Roberto, we shouldn't be arguing about this in front of the public. This is a question of immigration. No, Signora, not in terms of nationality or citizenship, immigration in terms of residency. Yes, I know, the term is used differently in this case. Go downstairs with Roberto. Go. Work this out amongst yourselves. Good-bye."

Got that?

So we follow Roberto, who has a limp and can't run, so wait up! and he sits behind his desk and he moans about the bureaucracy and he asks me which are left and which are right between the democrats and the republicans and do you think they are going to vote for that one with the black face (faccia nera, swear to Gesù) and see here, see this on my computer, this is an American woman born in Newport Beach and here is her son also born in Newport Beach but with residency in Naples because he's my grandson and I didn't want any bureaucratic problems for him so I entered them in the database, così, and where were you born? New York City? Brooklyn? But Brooklyn isn't a city, right? It's a quartiere, so how can you have been born there? I'll put New York, like on your carta d'identità, type type type, here you go, now all three of you have the same residency, the baby is part of your stato di familia, find me a basso to live in in New York, won't you? Ciao!

So, lovely readers, who share my pain over this bureaucratic song and dance, it was all a charade, a cabaret, old chum, all to cover asses. When he felt he could do so without getting chewed out, Roberto simply changed the data in the computer and, Ecco fatto!

The Husband and I uncorked a bottle of prosecco after that vittoria. Whew!


Doug said...

This must be worked up into a Kafka-esque short story!

I will embarrass La Romp by publicly congratulating her on getting into grad school at Berkeley! (She's far too modest to make such an announcement on here, I'm sure.)

Doug said...

To further embarrass La Romp, her birthday is tomorrow (2/2).

Happy Birthday!

Anonymous said...

Hi! I just wanted to say I love your blog. After having been an involuntary (read: navy brat) expat to naples for so many years, and whose family still have to teeter through monterusciello-trash, I am finding post-college Florida so relaxing in comparison. But, I have to say, there is such a longing for Naples and the napoletani that I will cry in June when my famiily says goodbye to it one last time and moves to the states. Not "back," since they've been gone for much too long to make America sound like home. So, thank you. Because, it's nice to see my world, familiar to me, and yet so different from the actual Italian experience, through the eyes of another straniera. Cherish the chaos, the food, and, yes, the assurdita.

mental mosaic said...

Love the whole subtitle to your blog, especially the "kicked in the shin" part. Hehe, when people ask me where Naples is, and I tell them the shin, it always takes some explaining before they get my point.

Am I the only one who wants a pair of tights or socks with a map of Italy on them?

My fiance and I have been having our own share of Italian paperwork Catch-22's, so it is somehow a relief to know we're not the only ones!