Saturday, October 18, 2003



Art was glad to get a day off from shopping. We spent the morning moving clothes and moving furniture out of the guest room and the downstairs room, in preparation for the work next week. Wendy is trying to get a truck so that we can haul all this stuff away, but if need be, we will just store everything in the garage for now. We won’t really need the garage until December when we return to the US for the holidays. We have to clear everything out so that the old floor can be torn up, the pipes laid for the new heating system, and the new floor put in. We went last week with the geometra to pick out the kitchen floor tiles, and the fixtures for the downstairs bathroom. We even managed to get a shower in that bathroom, but alas, no bidet! The new laundry room will also be downstairs, and although I’ll have to go upstairs to hang the clothes up, it shouldn’t be a big problem. I love hanging clothes on the line, always have. Since they don’t have gas dryers in Italy, we will try to limit our use of the electric dryer to very damp days, or maybe just a 5-10 minute fluff for the towels.

By the time we had finished moving all of Art’s clothes out of the guest room, and moving the smaller pieces of furniture, it was time to head to Terni to get finger-printed. We had been given an appointment for the fingerprints when we applied for our Permesso two weeks ago. Although the appointment wasn’t until 5 o’clock, we decided to leave early and hope that we could get finished earlier. We had made a test run down to Terni last Sunday; just to make sure we remembered how to get there. The drive took about 45 minutes, and we arrived in Terni just before 4. We had to show our papers to the guard, and were admitted to the questura. Once we got to the office of the Polizia Scientifica, we saw that there were a few people ahead of us. Luckily, only one of them still needed to be fingerprinted, and we started the process about 15 minutes later.

They had our documents ready, asked us a few more questions, such as our parents names, our height…in centimeters, which we of course didn’t know, but they measured us right there, then asked for our passports. Once the paperwork was completed, they asked us to remove our rings, took a roller and applied black ink, first to our fingertips, then to our fingers, and finally to our entire palm. Each part was transferred to paper, some areas twice. We scrubbed our hands in the sink and we were finished. While we were doing all of this, Art was trying to converse with the three employees in Italian, but they seemed to laugh at his efforts more that he would have liked. We decided it was because they were the police, and they felt superior. They were surprised to find out that we were “en pensione”, and that in the US you could retire after 30 years of work. They told us that in Italy you must work for 40 years, or at least that’s what I THINK they said! Oh well, let them feel superior…. After all, who’s still working and who’s “en pensione”?

We were back in our car by 5 o’clock, and headed towards San Venanzo. We must return to Terni to pick up our final papers on October 27, or at least that’s when they are SUPPOSED to be ready. Since we are starting school that day, Wendy will try to call, and hopefully we can go on Thursday, when they are open in the afternoon. This will allow us to return to the commune in San Venanzo and get our final residency papers. This will give us lower utility and tax rates, as well as let us buy a car. We hate the Opel Corsa they gave us after the Fiat was wrecked, and are hoping we don’t have to extend our car rental beyond the November 1st date we originally set.


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