We had our first snow of the season this morning. I woke up to a gray world with white feathered accents. Usually I like that color combination, but I this morning it did not look chic only cold!
You are probably thinking I am a California girl complaining about the cold. However, I spent the first 18 years of my life in Michigan, so I am used (or at least used to be used to) snow and cold, ma (but) this cold is really bitter. The wind, particularly in Perugia, whips right through your skin. As we walk through the old stone buildings, I can imagine how many people have shivered their way up the hill.
So Italy the good and the bad. Let's talk about the good. No it isn't the snow. Italy the good goes like this. I was out of my cholesterol medicine. I thought I had another bottle secreted away but I didn't. I have a doctor assigned to me, but I haven't been to him yet because the hours always seem to be in conflict with my school hours. So I ask my Italian friend Barbara if she thinks the pharmacist would take my American prescription and fill it. Who knows she says, and off we go to see if if will work. When we get to the pharmacy, her friend isn't there, but another kind woman is. Barbara asks if they could fill my prescription. The pharmacist says yes we have this medicine. She asks me who my doctor is in Umbertide. I give her the name, she hands over 85 pills, no charge, and tells me to come back later and tell me where I fit on the "Fasccio di reditto". Ok, I say. I find out later that this Fasccio di Reditto is a hierarchy of income and depending where you fit, is what you pay. She said since I didn't know the answer, I could tell her later when I found out.
Now several things. Picture yourself in any major city in the United States. You have a foreign prescription but you are a legal resident. You ask if the prescription can be filled without an American doctors prescription? Right! Could they fill it for no money until you figure out what you may owe, since you have no insurance? Double right. I imagine there are some people out there thinking, and this is WHY Italy is in so much financial trouble. Maybe….maybe not. There are many ways to spend money.
Italy the bad on the other hand is a bureaucracy that is insane. We have been trying to get the Stoic One all of the documents that he needs to get a more permanent visa so he can stay and not have to go off to Russia for 10 days..(his and Manuele's fantasy.) So since I am an Italian citizen, the documents should be easier….one of the documents we needed was our original marriage certificate translated into Italian, which we had!!!! So we take said document and translation to the office and they say, this document was completed in 1987…correct the year we were married. It is too old they say. "Como?" I say. What do you mean too old. Well, how do we know you have not gotten divorced since this document? You're kidding right? The look on his face told me he was not kidding. The problem is I could prove it if I were divorced but I can't prove that I am still married. You may trip down the logical path of if I were divorced would I be in Italy, selling all my things, buying an apartment, but then you would be thinking like an American. Oh, mamma mia. Ok, what to do? Well, they answer, you need to write to Vigo di Cadore where your family is from and where you were registered and ask them to verify you are married. I agree. However, I have never even been to Vigo di Cadore. They wouldn't know me from a jack rabbit, but so it goes. We call Vigo di Cadore, they do remember all of the paper work of my citizenship and they agree to send said document to us.
The word for the day is fuggi…RUN!