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.
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.