by Melinda Gallo

Early morning visit

A little past 7:30PM today, there was a ring at my campanello (doorbell). I usually don't answer my door unless I know someone is coming over. I popped open the window and looked down to see a man standing there with a small stack of papers. I yelled down to him, "Ś? (Yes?)" "Gallo?" he asked. I knew it couldn't be a delivery because I wasn't expecting anything. He told me he was from the polizia (police). "Viene su? (Are you coming up?)," I said. He said he wasn't coming up, but that I needed to come down. "Mi porti anche un documento per favore. (Please also bring a document.)"

I slipped on a pair of sandals because I didn't have time to put on any shoes and rushed down the stairs in my sweats. We had just got back from our morning run only a few minutes before his arrival.

I greeted him after I opened the door, which I didn't even open for him, and handed him my carta d'identità (identity card). I realized that he was here to check to make sure I live in the apartment because I asked for a change of residency a little over two weeks ago.

"L'ho svegliata? (Did I wake you?)," he asked me. I probably looked like it except for my hair was in a ponytail. "No, sono tornata proprio ora a casa dopo aver corso un po' sull'Arno. (No, I just got back home after having run a little along the Arno.)" I didn't know why I gave him so much information, but I wanted to make sure he knew that I didn't just get up.

He wrote down a few things on his sheet of paper and then looked at me, "California?" I had a feeling that he was studying my face a little as I'm sure he didn't imagine a Californian to look like me. "Ś (Yes)," I responded with a smile.

He handed me back my carta d'identità and said, "OK, va tutto bene. Buona giornata. (OK, that's good. Have a nice day.)"

After today's verification, I can eventually go back to the Palazzo Vecchio to get a document stating that my residency is now at my new address, which I'll need when I file for my permesso di soggiorno (permit to stay). And I can even get a new carta d'identità to reflect the change if I want to. It's supposedly not mandatory, but it is odd to have an official document with the wrong address.

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