This morning

I have mentioned before – if you want to get an official document or get something stamped or signed – it will require at least two visits – maybe, even, three!

So, this morning, as my job required it, I needed to get a couple of copies of my passport and driving licence authenticated.

First by Italy and then by India.

I had everything.

So, the alarm went off. I stuck it on “snooze” but, as usual, got up about a minute later. I am in my usual it’s-too-early-to-function-as-anything-other-than-a-robot” mode. I shave and stuff. I make coffee. Once I have washed up, I start thinking about the getting the final things ready (gum, cigarettes, my tie, etc.)

I think “There’s something important in my bag”.

What is it that’s important? And why would I remember?

Then I remember. It’s the copies of my passport and driving licence which need to be authenticated by Italians and then passed by the Indian Consulate. It’s a work thing. What’s more important is that it means the alarm should not have been set for 6.15 a.m. but more like 8 a.m! Damn!

It’s now 7.15. For a second I think about staying up and then decide that an hour in bed is better than nothing. I go back to bed. F briefly wakes up as I am getting undressed and asks why. I give him the briefest of details.

About 8.15 I get up again. Without the shaving, I do it all again, including the coffee.

I leave the house for the office where, it seems, I may be able to get an Italian to stamp or authenticate my copies.

I get there.

I queue up.

When I get to the counter, I am told I am in the wrong queue. It should, of course, be the longer one.

I join and wait. I note that it will take 3 days for the document to be stamped. Italy cracks me up.

When I get to the counter (this is the counter next to the woman who told me I was in the wrong queue I am told that they can only authenticate my copies once my copies have been stamped as true copies by the commune (local council). WTF?

I walk down to the office that does this stuff.

I arrive and work out where to go.

I get a ticket. I think that IF (and that’s a big IF), I can get this stamped here, then I can try the Indian Consulate, since they only want it stamped by someone …….probably.

I wait for my turn.

And wait.

Eventually, I get to the counter.

It can’t be done. I have (and, of course, now that I think about it, stupidly, because I should have realised) copied my passport and driving licence onto one document. It saves paper and both documents prove that I am me.

But, as they are 2 documents, they have to be on two separate pieces of paper since then they can make separate charges.

I express my disgust at this and say OK I will do something else. He tries to explain something to me. I say it’s OK because I will do something else. Except, probably, I shout this a bit. He starts shouting at me and I just leave. Fuck ‘em. Really, WTF more than the last one!

I had had a bright idea that, since the point was for India to have copies that were authenticated, maybe the British Consulate in Milan could do it. And, at least there, I don’t have to deal with Italian bureaucracy.

I go to the British Consulate.

I am told that, as from the 1st April (so I missed it by 15 days), all this sort of stuff stopped being done by them and was now done by a couple of solicitors. They give me the details. I find that one is the other side of town but the map on my phone doesn’t recognise the name of the street of the other one. I toy with going back to the British Consulate to ask and decide that, as it’s now nearly lunchtime, I should go home and go to work.

At home, I make a cup of tea and check the map on the computer. The street was two minutes from the British Consulate. Grrrr.

I go to work anyway.

I arrive at work to get told that this documentation is no longer required.

So, although my theory of a minimum of two visits was confirmed, at least now I don’t have to do the second lot of visits!

And it was a beautiful day to be walking around.

And I did have an extra 40 minutes snooze this morning.

Fuori Salone and walking – a lot.

Spring has, finally, arrived.

Well, until next Friday, at least.

And, for once, F hadn’t really been round the Fuori Salone (effectively the Furniture Fair Fringe) in Milan. The Salone di Mobili (Furniture Fair) is one of the most important exhibitions in Milan. It showcases the new design in Furniture from all over the world and is a huge event. To be honest, the actual Furniture Fair, held at the exhibition centre just outside Milan) is as boring as hell – unless you’re really into furniture design or in the business. But the Fringe, which is held in small showrooms and other places all over the centre of Milan, can be quite interesting.

F normally goes round during the week to get ideas and inspiration. This year, it was so cold and wet that he only went to a few places. And so, when Saturday morning dawned and the weather was stunning, he decided to go and visit some things. I and a friend of his also went with him.

We walked. And walked. And walked. F was very determined to walk.

We saw some stuff which was interesting and fun and great design. And, between shows, we went for an ice-cream in the sun. And then we went to see someone we knew and then we did some more and then we came home. At various places F met people he knew.

We went out in the evening for dinner with the friend and some of her friends (who were exhibiting) and had a lovely time.

On Sunday morning we took the dogs for a long, long walk and then, in the afternoon, went to another part of the Fuori Salone (which, quite frankly was crap) and then to an opening party for someone we knew who does T-shirts and then to Liù for a pizza.

And then bed.

We both agreed that, even if we were tired, it had been a great weekend – which it had. In spite of my legs and feet which were killing me!

And, then came Monday morning ………………………….

To be continued in the next post.