Friday, September 12, 2008

9/11 at the office of immigration

12 Settembre
I had to wait a day to post this one as yesterday I was just too incazzato. I started my effort to become legal here in Italy in May 2007 and thought surely in March in Chicago, all would be taken care of at last. I applied for a self-employed visa and in their wisdom, they granted me an elective residence visa. Fine, finally a visa, even one which doesn't allow me to make any money in Italy.... no problem!! I am spending! But NO, I was asked to go to the Questura on Sep 11 for what I thought would be the presentation of my Permit of stay, But NO, they wanted to tell me that with this elective residency visa, I was not allowed to be an owner in any business in Italy, even one which loses money. What a morning!; 2 hours in a room full of muslims and chinese and east europeans on 9/11. While I am in the waiting area, I hear the immigration officer asking the chinese why they are lying to her and also an east european who was told he has to leave the country. It is an interesting place and I wish them all well! At the end, I couldn't even get my permit of stay, as they are only handed out on wednesdays!
This is all the consulate in Chicago's fault, as I told them I was a business owner and sent them many emails and faxes trying to fit all their regulations for the lavoro autonomo visa. They never responded and to top off everything, when I visited their office in Chicago, they explained 1. I had 12 minutes for my visit. 2. If I didn't have everything required, I would lose my money and have to start over. 3. They didn't have time to answer emails! and help people out.. Did I mention, they don't answer their phone either. Oh well, back to the drawing board. I fired off new faxes and emails to the vice consul in Denver and the consulate in Chicago. We will see if they respond.
Today, i hoed 6 rows of vines after serving our Irish guests their breakfast, then ate lunch and took Bacco to Porto d'Ascoli for a swim in the sea and a bit of fetch. I bought some supplies to bottle our red wine from last year (5 liter bottles with screw tops and a siphoning tube) and "combs" to harvest olives with in the next few days. Tomorrow, bottling and then a thorough cleaning of our stainless steel tank in prep for the 2008 red wine.
All around us, the grape harvest is visible as the white grapes and sangiovese grapes are ready for picking. Our montepulciano is a later maturing grape and so we should benefit from a little rain in the next few days followed by a few days for the grapes to mature and "undilute" a bit. We really need a bit of moisture for all our plants!
Raffaele took off for Tuscany for a couple of days of peace, so I am the "illegal" captain of our ship until tomorrow night.
I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

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