It's 8 days since we'd met Nicola, the 'maresciallo' from
the Polizia Municipale as we were on our way
into town in Mouse. He was driving up the
mountain as we were driving down & he stopped,
wound his window down, said 'Buongiorno'
& told us he had some questions:
1. Had we applied for residency?
2. Did we live here?
3. All year round?
4. Were we free tomorrow morning?
We answered 'yes' to all 4 and were told to visit his office
any time between 8.30 am & 12 noon the next morning,
bringing our passports with us.
So the next morning, accompanied by our friends Silvia & Angelo
(to act as translators if we didn't understand any of
the proceedings), we turned up at Nicola's office, to find it
locked. It was 10.45 & we were told by Annabile in the Anagrafe
that Nicola had gone to an on site meeting that had been arranged
days ago but might be back at any moment....or then
again, he might not be back for a couple of hours.
We decided to head for the nearest bar & grab a coffee
then hang around the piazza outside the church for a
while - although it was February, it was a bright
sunny day & there was plenty of warmth in that sun.
After an hour, we were just resigning ourselves to
the fact that Nicola probably wasn't going to return any time
soon, when his car came up the street. We followed him
into his office & the first 3 questions he'd asked us
yesterday were repeated, copies of our passports taken,
a couple of forms filled out, duly signed & stamped
and then he said he'd be sending the forms off to
Rome & it could take up to 3 months to hear anything more.
Silvia argued that this couldn't possibly be right,
so we all trundled round the corner to
Annibale's office where Nicola argued his case,
Silvia argued hers & Annabile basically told Nicola
not to be so officious - if we came back the following week,
with €10, we would get our Carte d'Identita`.
So we did.....