The other day I got one of those letters that you dread as an expat: “Report to city hall within 10 days upon receiving this letter. Due to law ABC123 we will be canceling your residency.” Ok, the letter was a page long and very much in legalize, which I don’t understand (don’t bother with is probably more accurate) in English so Italian, forget about it.
Collecting courage, appropriate documents and my European Union citizen husband, I headed to the city hall. David and I, on the way (me driving because my EU citizen husband can’t drive here, but his non-EU wife can) tried to get our stories together, what we would say, what our situation is, etc. Ok, I have to pause here to say that we didn’t even know what law ABC123 was so we started imagining the worst…which would be that I get kicked out of the country.
We waited in line in the incredibly new complex of a building, the Municipio of Taggia. We were received by a VERY friendly young lady who immediately excused herself for not knowing anything about this type of thing because her colleague, who is on vacation handles them. She asked around the office and found out that I have an identity problem (no shit, anyone who knows me could have told them that – I didn’t know, however, that meant I couldn’t be a resident of Taggia). She asked for all these: .
Those would be my crucial documents - Residensa (residency), permesso di soggiorno (permit of stay), codice fiscale (social security code type thing), passporto (um, that would translate to passport). She promptly pointed out that within these four documents I have three different last names.
It seems that our very forward, post-modern, feminist American society’s habit of having the wife become someone new when marrying(yes, it was my choice) is totally dumbfounding to this male dominated, old European country. (there was irony in that last sentence, in case you missed it). You see, my legal US name is - first name: Lynn, middle names: Anne Serpe, last name: Cornwell. But in Italy, the family you’re born to is yours…no getting around it, so, legally here I am Serpe. So some people here sign me up as a Serpe, some sign me up as a Serpe Cornwell, NO ONE signs me up as only a Cornwell (…you’d think they knew me or something) but Cornwell only is what is on my passport.
So David had to fill out a form that said we live here, I had to fill out a form saying that I want all these documents to match, and all of us got in the car and went home.
On a knitterly note…
Here’s what I’ve been working on… .
David says that the front of it is “crazy beautiful”. As I spent two hours today tying up all those little ends (and the thing is only a quarter done) I was thinking it was, perhaps, just crazy.
And here’s a picture of those socks that I told you about several blogs ago:
The blue one is still waiting for it’s partner. That other really cute one is already paired up and happily honeymooning in the completed work sack. I have counseled them not to change their names.