Friday, May 12, 2017

Lost in Translation and Italian Bureaucracy

So, what's that quote, 'money is the root of all evil?'  I beg to differ, it's paperwork that is the root of all evil.
Two days ago, we presented ourselves at the post office here to open a bank account.  We came armed with our Italian passports, codice fiscale a kind of social security number needed here, but we needed an Italian phone number, so that took 1 hour to get 2 SIM cards, then another hour to figure out how to get an account, all the while, the manager of the bank smiled, and tried her darnedest to get us that ATM card.
Alas, as with everything in a foreign country, there is always another piece of paper or another something that you need, that of course you don't have, and can't manufacture.  But on this day it wasn't the reams of paper that got in the way but the electronic signature machine wasn't working.
I'm sure it was tired, since we'd tried to sign almost 40 times.  So we were told to come back on Friday and it would take, 20 minutes at the most.
So today, we showed up again, at our appointed time, this time with a homemade lemon bundt cake, since these people were so sweet to us, apologetic, and trying their hardest to get us what we needed.  2 hours later, we walked out with activated ATM cards, check book, new pin numbers that we need to memorize, and reams of paper work.
Was this frustrating?  No.  Although we have Italian passports, we are still guests in a country that does things a bit differently that we do in the US, and if you are a guest, act like one.  This is what makes living here an experience.   We walked out of the post office having made several new friends, including the bank manager who worked so hard to get us what we needed.  Every day we meet new people, either expats from the UK, Australia, or US, and every day we meet more locals who welcome us into their shops and restaurants.  We are indeed blessed.  Ciao for now.

No comments:

Post a Comment