18 February 2009

Not meant to have the Stay Permit

Yesterday I went to the Questura of Perugia to get that Stay Permit. Ever since the beginning something always came up to hinder.

Even though I woke up early to catch the train, no I still didn’t. Because of a huge garbage-collecting truck blocking us in an ultra narrow street, on the way to the station. And there I saw, the train is coming, stopping for a while, then going away. Which made me having to take the next train, which then caused me arriving late at Perugia.

For your info, it’s about 5 and half hours by train, including transits, from my place to Perugia. Anyway, arriving late problem solved.

Waiting 1 hour in front of the building, queing in a loooong line of unrecognized human beings speaking various languages of the world, with cold air of winter breezing, pushed back n forth by throngs of people in order to pass thru the gate, waiting for another hour inside the complex (NOT YET inside the building, so, yes, still with the chilly late afternoon breeze) until my name is shouted, more waiting for at least half an hour in front of the sportello… ALL just to be made totally disappointed, because:

Eventho the Signora at the questura (see previous respective note) already told me that my PdS is ready, it is definitely NOT. Why? Because the magnetic chip is broken so they cannot activate my card! And there began my turmoil, followed by ranting at them.

From the first failed attempt of card recognition, to the second male-n-young-but-sulky officer who tried to swipe the card but again failing and later just said, “no, it doesn’t work… the chip is broken. We have to return it to Rome. It’s been ready since 15 December, you know. Sei sfortunata.”

What?!?! Exclaimed I silently. Is that all you can say, that I am unlucky?!?!?!?! And the fact that it’s been ready since some time, does it give the privilege of the chip being broken?!?! They should have taken care of it well, am I right? Of course I am.

Allora, cosa faccio adesso?” So, what do I do now? I asked a normal question, I believe.

Eh… cosa fai?” What do you do? A stupid needless repetition of my question. You moron or what, give me a solution! But he just shrugged his shoulders and later pingpong-ed me to another officer. Again, trying to activate the card. But what is this with this people?!?! If the chip is broken, then it won’t work anywhere! No use of trying it at different outlets! I want a solution, pronto! My time here is NOT unlimited. In fact, I have to catch the train, which is coming in less than 1 hour (that will be the LAST one, by the way. As previously mentioned, it’s about 5 hour by train.)

Yet another officer trying to see whether this time he could work miracle. Failed, of course. At least, this time, this one came up with some accetable solution. Guided by me, of course, after confirming that I won’t have any need of it at the time I'm leaving this country. At least, he fully concentrated on my case. Unfortunately for him, I kinda vented some my anger on him, but fortunately he was patient enough, and I might say, supportive instead of scorning and taking the “it’s not our fault, it’s your own fault, why didn’t you do this, that…” defense attitude, like they always do.

More or less, this is what I told him in my complain:

“How is it possible that the chip is broken?” I think I could hear my own voice starting to shrill.

Tranquilla, Signora. We …”

I cut him mid-sentence, “How can I calm down?! I have been here THREE times, since May 2007. That was the date written on my lettera di convocazione.” (it’s the ‘calling letter’ for us to take our supposedly Stay Permit, ready to use.) “Three times, can you imagine that? Always I got the same answer: It’s not ready.”

“Well, we don’t do that letter any longer now.”

“Yeah! But it’s not useful to tell me that now. All my friends in Trieste got theirs maximum 6 months”.

“I’m sorry, it’s just that you get caught in the middle of our changing procedure. Now we always do it only in 3 months.”

Hah! Hrrrmmmfffftt! Tell me what’s the use of saying this to me. Oil to fire! And anyway, isn’t this supposed to be a system that works allover the country?!?!

“We’ll send it back to Rome to fix it, and in the meantime, we can give you a temporary Carta di Soggiorno if you need to go abroad.”

“I do not live in Perugia, I live in Trieste. If I lived here, no problem, I could come to this office anytime. And because of this problem, I cannot go abroad to attend some convegno.”

“I see. Well, like I said, we can give you a temporary Carta di Soggiorno if you need to go abroad. When do you leave Perugia?” (Nope, this so-called Carta di Soggiorno is NOT a card, it's just a statement printed on a thick paper.)

“My train is in half an hour from now.”


Anyway… to cut what-is-already-too-long conversation short: No, no Stay Permit in my keeping. Just a stupid photocopy of what should be mine, and a stupid handwritten letter to be submitted to Questura di Trieste, in case I need to get outside Italy within these 20 days prior to my depart back to Indonesia.

The so-called Permesso di Soggiorno & handwritten certification. Some info has been blurred for privacy purposes.

And just as I have expected! I got there at Lucca station at about 21.55. Obviously the train I’m supposed to take next has already departed, like, 15 minutes ago! Just when I need it to be late, it isn’t. Thank goodness I did ask il Gufino to pick me up at Lucca! :) (Another 1-hour-car-trip-made-45-minutes by driving as fast as he could, on a curvaceous upsloping mountain street.)

Such a long, tiring, unproductive and wasted journey which isn’t equal to the result at the end of the day.

This note can be read as well in my Facebook profile.

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