Monday, July 6, 2009

Fixing Things Up

First thing this morning, I gathered my documentation and went to the Comune di Firenze (the town hall) to speak to the Anagrafe (person who processes the residency records) to find out why my application for residency was denied. I didn't have an appointment. I walked through the entrance, past the front desk, when one of the clerks asked me where I was going. I continued walking and said "Vado a vedere Gianni" Luckily, she didn't stop me. The building was empty and quiet. I walked up to the 3rd floor, hoping that Gianni would be in his office, and that there wouldn't be a line! There he was, sitting at his desk. He jumped out of his seat and said "Barbara! Tutto va bene?" I was surprised that he remembered my name from 2 months ago.

I breathed a deep sigh of relief. Gianni remembered me well. He read the letter, made a phone call, told me not to worry, and helped me to fill out some new forms to be faxed to the central office in Florence. He told me that should do it, and that hopefully the "vigili" wouldn't even come to my apartment to see if I really live there. But he couldn't predict how long it would take to receive my Carta d'Identita'

He was curious to know how I am adapting to life in Florence and we talked about my recent experiences here. It seems that every time I speak to a native Florentine, we always end up in a conversation about the differences in the conditions in America and in Italy. Everybody here wants to go there. And everyone there wants to come here. "L'erba del vicino e' sempre piu' verde".

After leaving his office I went to the Mercato di Sant'Ambrogio. The peaches looked luscious. The zucchini were bursting with flowers, the San Marzano tomatoes were bright and plump and the peperoni from Calabria were all irresistable. As usual, when I asked for some basil and parsley, they threw it in for free. Then all of a sudden, thunder cracked in the distance and within seconds, it was pouring. Having only my bike and no umbrella was a good excuse to hang out in the market until the rain stopped, and try some new things. I went to a macelleria (butcher) and bought a small portion of tripe salad, which I had never had before. It was pretty good! After buying some fresh lavender and eliantos from the fioraio (florist), the sun came out again and I headed back home.

My sister Carol will be arriving back tonight from her "side-trip" to Rome, Pisa and Venice. She's been going non-stop. Being her first time to Europe, she is busy trying to see everything! She's talking about going to Paris and Amsterdam while she's here. I wish I could go with her, but I'm also anxious to start working and there are some opportunities that I can't pass up! And I think she is really enjoying her freedom.....perhaps for the first time in her life.