Friday, March 11, 2005

Questura Lottery

I think I may have whined about the Questura (Police Station) some time ago but I don’t recall. Today I went to pick up my Permesso di Soggiorno (permit to live in Italy) for this year. This pickup was in record time. I think I was in and out in 15 minutes. Here’s the dilemma. Last Friday I waited over an hour with my number in hand only to find out when I finally got to the window that the Permesso wasn’t ready yet (even though I was there on the date they said it would be ready). This week I knew it was ready (friend of a friend who used to be in the Polizia) so I was ready to wait and actually get something for my patience this time. I showed up at exactly the same time as last week and there was no one waiting. Last week the place was a madhouse and this week it was a cakewalk. I’ve had this happen before and I still can’t explain it. Some days are mass confusion and others are calm, but you can't predict it. The office is only open 9-12 Monday, Wednesday, and Friday so you can understand why it gets busy and the same people are always working there so I don’t believe that’s the key. It just seems to be a lottery. One day everyone decides to go. You can’t tell by the cars outside because the parking lot was completely full, as usual. I know now from experiences that if it’s busy and you can wait then come back another day. You’re fighting a losing battle on the busy days. More people will cut in front of you and the people behind the desk seem less sympathetic, less helpful. Yep, come back another day if you can although… it can be entertaining to watch others argue for a simple little piece of paper that most people don’t get anyway. You know there are more Americans living and working in Italy illegally than any other nationality. Well, I’m not one of them!!!

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