Little Annie Rooney said it best for Doug (I never heard of her). After our last frustrating trip to Cosenza, we were not looking forward to the next step. They said we could check the computer website to find out if our permessos were ready. After the two months were up, we looked daily. No change. We began to think something was wrong so we asked an Italian friend to call for us. She did and was given another number to call. She tried but they didn't answer. I called later and found out that the mythical documents were actually pronto(ready). I was proud that I did it myself. Telephoning an Italian bureaucrat is very scary. If they don't get what you are saying, they just hang up on you--sometimes after saying goodbye, sometimes not.
We showed up at the police/immigration office today in Paola to pick up our Permesso di Soggiorno cards after a 6 month process. We were a little skeptical that these folks had finally gotten their job done--afraid they would say they weren't ready after all once we got there. We arrived ½ hour before the place opened and had time for a caffe. We were admitted at 0900 and, amazed, walked away at 0930 with two cards that are imbedded with chips and have holographic images on the surface. Very state-of-the-art compared to the process that brought us here.
Anyway, we are extremely relieved. Heady from our success, we stopped at the Comune office in Santa Domenica Talao with our new cards and applied for a Residency ID card (carta d’identica). We were happy that our Italian allowed us to do well enough there, and we will get the identity card soon-–after the local police officer visits us to confirm we have a house in town and are living there. We know the local cop and he’s a nice guy, so we expect no problems. We needed the Permesso to get this card. It will allow us to buy a car (we already did—now we can transfer ownership) and get health insurance here. It was touch and go for a bit as the clerk there was looking for the word “Cosenza” on the Permesso---and it just doesn’t have anything like that since it is a national card.
On the way home, we stopped at the beaches below the hospital in Cetraro and found a cool place with a nearby restaurant to try next week. The beaches there appear a little less crowded than what we have around here this time of year. The Neapolitan tourism influx must have missed Cetraro!! We are all legal now, so we can relax and enjoy the beaches until next year, when we have to reapply (that one will be good for 2 years, then 4, then I guess after 6 you get to be a permanent Italian). Gloriosky.