Pazienza

I had intended to celebrate the 100th post on this blog by taking it public. It has been private for several months, ever since we were in difficulties with Teresa in Saluzzo. My hope was that we could celebrate the 100th post by having Tony’s Italian citizenship officially recognized. No dice. But I’m making it public anyway. I’m tired of feeling like if people knew my thoughts they wouldn’t like me. They would. And it doesn’t matter anyway. My blog is a true story.

This has not been the best week as far as citizenship is concerned. Mainly, we have been getting more and more apprehensive that it would not happen before we left for our trip to the U.S in a week and a half.… Read more

Mission Impossible

Last time we checked with Gianfranco, he had still not received faxed responses from either Manila or San Francisco. As our time ticks away, we decided it was time to call out the international troops.

Amusingly, enough, Tony got up at 1 a.m. Thursday to call Manila. After several dozen tries, he succeeded in getting past the busy signal to an unhelpful secretary, who put him on hold and then hung up on him. He called back immediately, and when the same secretary realized it was he again, he transferred him without speaking to him.

However, the person to whom he was transferred was Italian and didn’t really speak English.… Read more

A Meeting with the Mayor

Today was the fateful meeting with the Mayor. We all dressed up, but in the end, there was too much delighted squealing echoing through the corridors of the Municipio for our comfort, so I took the two little squealers downstairs, and we went to the optician to get my glasses fixed and then sang “Five Little Ducks,” and several other counting-down songs as we waited in the piazza outside.

Meanwhile, Tony and Carla waited for the Mayor. We had arrived nice and early, since last time Carla went to speak to him (about us, before we moved here) he had scheduled five people to meet with him at 11:00 a.m., and he didn’t arrive until 11:30.… Read more

Don’t Know Much About History

This question of history is one I’ve been puzzling over for the past few months. It is more than an academic question for me. In fact, it turns out to be both personal and practical. Who am I, after all? What are my roots? Where are my loyalties? To whom and to what are my duties? For the less peripatetic, perhaps these questions are easily answered. Indeed, probably there is something pathetically lost about asking them at all. But I cannot help asking, because I possess, as yet, no clear answer.

My husband and children will soon officially possess both American and Italian citizenship.… Read more

Never Expect it the Same Way Twice

Productivity for us here in Italy seems to be more a product of serendipity than careful planning. It’s not that we don’t plan exhaustively. But sometimes things turn out better when we just go with the flow. Our internet has been grinding to a halt fairly often lately. We can get reliable dial-up, which us O.K. for email and other more basic tasks. But we cannot send large attachments, and forget about Skype calls (we don’t have a home phone, and we’ve been trying to set up quite a lot of things for our trip to the U.S.)., or web-conferencing.

We had a web-conference scheduled for Thursday evening, which we were forced to cancel.… Read more

Chiusa Aperta

We were part of the action last night. Chiusa Aperta is the traditional annual village festival in Chiusa Pesio. We arrived 45 minutes late because we had been eating pizza at our favorite little pizzeria in town. Tony and I like the vegetarian pizza, which changes with the seasons. It still had zucchini and eggplant, but the red peppers had been replaced since last month with green beans. Green beans on a pizza? Yes! It was excellent. Axa’s favorite pizza is margherita, which is just tomato sauce, mozzarella, and oregano. She tried some of ours, but in the end she just picked off all the vegetables, so her piece ended up margherita too.… Read more

The Importance of History

Tony woke me up at 6:00 a.m. this morning. “Sarah! Sarah!” I rolled over and looked at him blearily. “Domenico wasn’t Italian. He was French! I’ve been up all night worrying about it, and then I got online and saw a map. The Duchy of Savoy was up in the mountains, and the French just went around and conquered the plain. Everybody wanted the plains of Piedmont.” By now, sleep had fled.

It couldn’t end this way. Domenico had to be Italian. Could it be possible that we hadn’t thought of one crucial detail? We got up together and went out to the living room.… Read more

Una Idea Grande

We spent a long time preparing for this morning’s meeting with Gianfranco, and it essentially went just as we had hoped. We popped in at about 11:30, and Tony announced, smiling broadly, that we had come up with an “idea grande.” Then he turned to me so I could explain that we’d gotten email addresses for all the consulates, and thought we could contact them so they would respond to his faxes.

Gianfranco replied that all had responded but two. Manila and (of course) San Francisco. To be fair, San Francisco the most work to do to confirm that nobody renounced citizenship, since Tony and all his ancestors lived in multiple locations within the consular jurisdiction within a space of over 150 years.… Read more

Il Ministro

On Monday we showed up at the Comune with homemade cheesecake brownies for Gianfranco. He showed us a responses from the Los Angeles and Chicago consulates to the effect that Tony and his ancestors have not renounced Italian citizenship. That was the good news. Then he said that as soon as all had responded, he would forward everything to the “Ministro,” and “we will see.” Now I’m left to wonder why he feels he needs to send the documents to the “Ministro.”

He failed to specify to which Ministry he needs to send them. As far as I know (i.e. according to detailed reports of others involved in their own jure sanguinis adventures), the Comune is supposed to make the final decision and declare the applicant officially Italian.… Read more

Chocolates, Take Two

Tony got all dressed up yesterday and went down to the Comune to ask Gianfranco how things are going for his citizenship. He took Axa with him, but Raj and I stayed home, since Raji has finally come down with the chicken pox too. When Tony arrived, the Mayor happened to be there, so Tony greeted him on the way in. Then he delivered some nice chocolates to Gianfranco.

The chocolates were genuine Chiusa Pesio artisanal chocolates, made by a charming lady and her daughter in the only chocolate shop in town. She gave us all samples, and then put an assortment of chocolates (artistically arranged, of course) on one of those attractive little gilt-paper trays they use for sweets here.… Read more