Italian Life Olympics – Event #2


Not Just Another "Dolce Vita"If you missed my first post on Italian Life Olympics, click here to catch up.

So, back to event #2: crossing the street in Italy.

No, no! It’s no joke. In order to correctly perform this task in busy, crowded, car-congested cities like Roma or Napoli, there’s a certain level of skill required or else –

POM!

Some Mario Andretti wannabe will remorselessly metterti sotto (run you over) in their little Fiat 500 without a backward glance while you’re left, stuck to the pavement, newly resembling a human pizza. Fiat 500

Wishing earnestly to avoid this fate, you keep your wits about you and gear up for the event. (Some people choose to say a hearty goodbye to their loved ones beforehand – you never know!).

siamo_tutti_pedoni

“Today I’m crossing the street.” “Call when you get to the other side.”

You walk to the curb of the street you wish to cross and size up the amount of traffic (probably molto) that’s crossing your path. You pay no attention (this is important) to what’s going on with the semafori (traffic lights) or the strisce (crosswalks), because the drivers don’t either. You take in the speed, the size of the vehicles and any other obstructions in the area. You toe up to the edge.

Then you turn your head towards oncoming traffic and catch the eye of a driver in the lane closest to you. Now, they’re not really slowing down yet, but you know this is your chance. You maintain eye contact with the driver, steel yourself for the exertion ahead, step off the curb and you…

Walk into traffic.

Chin up, head high, like you own the street. And you keep walking.

You catch the eye of other  drivers as they approach you, and something miraculous happens. Sensing that you’re actually serious about traversing their path, and that their sewing-machine engines are no match for you, they’ll take in your confident stride and acquiesce. Momentarily.

And like Moses parted the Red Sea, the traffic will part, if only briefly, to allow your safe passage to the other side.

But don’t dawdle, and per l‘amor del cielo (for goodness’ sake), don’t run. You’ve gotta look like you’re in control or else someone’s foot might get a little heavy at your display of weakness and – POM! The human pizza fate is once again yours.

However…

All of this fuss can be avoided if you can cross in the company of a nun or priest. Italian drivers will sooner crash than harm someone in a habit!

Nuns.

Italian Word of the Day – “Ricominciare” (+ Visa Update)


La Maestra Maldestra

La Maestra Maldestra

It’s been a long time since I last published a Word of the Day post, but I figured this was fitting. Today we’re going to learn about the word ricominciare.

ri (again) + cominciare (start) = to start again

And that’s exactly what I have to do with this whole Italian Visa process, folks.

Grazie to all of you who took the time to leave a comment, send a message, say a prayer or light a candle for me when I went to apply for my Italian work Visa a couple weeks ago. Things didn’t quite go as planned (obviously) and now my team of trusty friends and I have to ricominciare da zero (start back at square one) with the whole process.

Back to the drawing board...

Back to the drawing board…

Having to re-do things because they weren’t quite right the first time isn’t as disheartening, however, as hearing that something’s impossible. And I’m (thankfully) sitting in the first camp. So now I know how things go. Now I know what to do, who to see, what to send and what to sign. This Visa is still within reach, and so is my dream of living and working in Italy (again).

So, to ricominciare is not all bad. No, not at all. Besides, I’m not the only one who has to fare salti mortali (jump through hoops) to get something done on the Visa or Permesso di Soggiorno (permit to stay) front.

Take a look at these posts from other great Italy bloggers to read their trials and tribulations:

Girl in Florence – How to Survive Your Next Permesso di Soggiorno Renewal

Italy Project 365 – How to Obtain a Permesso di Soggiorno per Lavoro

The Florentine – Let’s Talk About Visas II

And just because we are still talking about our Word of the Day, take a listen to Adriano Pappalardo’s 1979 hit, “Ricominciamo” (Let’s Start Over).

(If the original music video is available in your area, take a look. The guy looks like a pro wrestler-turned-singer!)

Say a Little Prayer for Me…


Not Just Another "Dolce Vita"I’m going to ask you to farmi un piacere. Do me a favour. Please.

As I’ve maybe mentioned once or twice before, I’m in the slow and horrible process of applying for a Visa that will allow me to live and work in Italy. If you’re an active follower of this blog, you’ll have read about my past experiences in il bel paese and you’ll know that I just can’t get enough. I want to go back, and not just for a summertime visit. (Relax, Canadian friends and family. It won’t be forever!)

So I started this ridiculously complicated and frustrating Visa process in June of last year, and with the help of two great friends in Siena, have managed to get to the final stage: the application appointment at the Italian Consulate in Toronto.

Monday is judgement day. It’s the day when the hopefully happy and well-caffinated Consulate employee will peruse my pratica (application file), and check the innumerable documents I had to run willy-nilly around the public offices of Siena to get. Then they’ll either:

a) look at me kindly and say, “Signorina, everything seems to be in order. You can come back to collect your Visa next week. And, by the way, complimenti on your wonderful Italian.”

And I’ll smile.

or

b) brusquely point out many insufficiencies and inconsistencies with my file and say, “Signorina, I’m sorry but it is not possible to submit your Visa application today. You must do this and this and this and this and then re-book your appointment to come see us again when you really do have everything we require.”

Then I’ll cry.

Because the thing is, I’ve already done pretty much all I can possibly do to get everything they require. Every piece of paper, every stamp, every everything. My friends and I have spent hours, days of our lives even, trying to get all the required documenti (documents) to make this Visa a reality. But of course, like so many things in Italy, the country’s beautiful bureaucracy makes it impossible (in my situation) to have my i’s dotted and my t’s crossed the way they’d like them to be.

So on Monday, let’s hope for option A, shall we? But I have to admit, option B is a real possibility.

What I’m asking you, readers, is to incrociare le dita, to cross your fingers for me. Send me some good vibes and positive thoughts. And if you’re of the praying, candle-lighting persuasion, per favore, pull out all the stops because…

I really want this.