It’s Not Always the Language Barrier

Before we left the states, we had to apply (and wait an ungodly amount of time) for our Italian Visas. This was part one. Part two came after we arrived in-country, when we had to apply for our Italian Permesso di Soggiorno. Apparently, the first application gets you in the door; the second lets you stay.

I’m very interested in staying.

So, we went to our appointment, paperwork in hand, 30 minutes early, dressed to impress.

I was a bit worried about how everything would go, especially considering the potantial language barrier. Fortunately, the agent was helpful and kind, and very fluent in English. In addition to our Soggiornos, she also helped us apply for codice fiscale (like an Italian social security number) and reminded us that we were eligible for ration cards.

I had already heard about ration cards. They’re like gold. They help pay for a certain ration of gas, or a certain number of liters per month. Gas prices in Italy are currently around $7.22 per gallon (#putinproblems) and I like to explore. So, I was VERY interested in getting my hands on one.

“You are each eligible for one card,” the agent explained. “You don’t have to take one. Some people don’t. But they are available, if you’d like one.”

Did I want one? Heck yes! Who wouldn’t?! I had some serious mileage to cover and thanks to Putin’s mid-life crisis, doing so was going to cost a mint. I needed all the help I could get.

“I definitely want one,” I said. “I’m going to use that thing up every month. Honestly, I’ll probably use it up in the first week!”

“Va bene” (all right), she said with a nod.

“I’m super excited to get a card,” I added. “In fact, I’ll take any extras if you’ve got them lying around.”

She cracked a smile.

Fun fact – that office doesn’t handle gas cards. That’s a different office. What does this office have? Ration cards for cigarettes and hard liquor. Not wine. Not beer. Just the really hard stuff.

So now there’s an Italian Visa agent who thinks I run on cigarettes and vodka. Va bene. It’s not always the language barrier that gets you in trouble.

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