Tuesday, October 03, 2006

New Adventures into Italian Bureaucracy

I love Italians. They are such warm and passionate people. My grandfather was one, so was my mother. One of my really good friends is Italian. I love all things Italian - culture, music, food, country, language. There is only ONE thing that irks me about anything Italian and that is their absolute adoration of red tape.

I have journeyed into the maw of administrative hell more than once. And now, I prepare to do it again. Today, I send my application to renew my passport to the consulate. I had to travel to Nottingham to get my photographs verified last week. It was an exercise that took a mere 10 minutes of small talk to complete, but a journey that took 2 hours and a 45 minute walk to the office.

So, I am sending my bits and pieces to Manchester today and I am chanting like crazy that it all goes well. It's really important to get the passport back as soon as because I have no idea when I will be asked to go back to South Africa because of my dad. So. Fingers crossed, hope for the best.


  1. Dealing with Italian bureaucracy is the pits, and you have my complete sympathy. The only way to get things done with no hassle is to befriend someone in a position that matters. I once managed to get a brand-new (Italian) passport in a matter of days thanks to the cousin of a friend who used to work for the Polizia and who was kind enough to fast-track my application.

    In the absence of such a friendly figure, you might want to keep up that chanting... Good luck!

  2. And how we laughed when, not knowing, I gave all three of Red's Christian names on some document prior to getting married in Italy, only to find that the third name is some kind of crazy unofficial baptismal name that doesn't appear anywhere other than in the hearts and minds of her family. Yes, for one brief minute there it looked as though my faux pas might end up in our not being able to get married after all. Fun times in Italian bureaucratic hell.

  3. Indeed. When my mother first sought out an Italian passport it was 2 years of going back and forth to the consulate so that they could prove she was who she said she was and that my grandfather really existed. Then, brainwave, mom went to them with all her voting papers and asked them why the hell she's been receiving voting papers and they can't give her a passport. Ooops. Transpired that my grandfather had registered my mom's birth in Italy yonks ago, but no one seemed to pick that up. Personally I think they just wanted her to suffer.