[ExI] abandoning hope

giovanni santost santostasigio at yahoo.com
Wed Oct 31 21:06:34 UTC 2007

Amara what is your field of research?
Planetology, but what exactly?

Amara Graps <amara at amara.com> wrote: >I'm sorry Amara,
>   that is horrible.

I'll need the next six months to build up these documents again, with
some of them, needing me to apply in person (either to Riga or to
Washington D.C. and to California), but I wasn't injured.

Yesterday at the going away party (for my colleague, but I considered it
also for me, since today is my last day at work), my boss told me "I'm
sorry." I don't know for which event she was referring, actually, from
Monday's theft, or anything from the last years.  It's quite an odd
feeling now.

I'm like a baby..  I almost don't exist, except for my birth
certificate. So I do know that I was born. :-) The US Embassy accepted
my birth certificate and my photocopies of the missing documents to
begin again a new full passport for me. It will be ready on November 15.
They were quite kind and helpful.. and obviously experienced with
Americans having their bags/passports stolen. One other person there
yesterday wasn't even a 'baby'.. he didn't exist at all!

>Italy has a lot of bad sides but there are bad sides in every country.

Italy is a beautiful place to visit, but living in Italy is an entirely
different story. It has no functioning infrastructure, and as a result,
daily life is a mess. If I were to write a book on my last years, I would
title it: "My Life in a Queue".

Of course if one has family, then they know someone who knows someone
who knows someone, who can do that thing for you to avoid some of the
queues. That is the social/familial network that is absolutely necessary
to survive in Italy.

>I have to say that there is a high likelihood that your passport was
>stolen by one of the many immigrants in Italy. I don't want to put down
>any ethnic group but it is a reality that crime shoot up when a lot of
>people from east european country started to invade Italy.

Bzzzt! I'm so tired of hearing that. It is an explanation with
no investigation behind it.

I suggest for all Italians to spend some time in the central Rome
Questura for immigration or in their local polizia to try to understand
the effect of their country's immigration policies on foreigners (which
in Italy is _not_ a large percentage of the population.. Look at the

Similarly I encourage all Americans to spend some time in US INS offices
to learn the same.

Last year I began to joke at my scientific conferences that if I was
suddenly not present, it was because I was detained at the immigration
processing center at Lampedusa.. (I've been an illegal immigrant for
most of my ~5 years in Italy.. and by the way, one of my passports is
from an 'eastern european' country.)

More here:

with this update on the info I wrote in the above link:

1) in August 2006, Italy accepted the new EU countries as 'normal' EU
with no quota for working in the country, so I could have begun again my
paperwork with my Latvian passport. I was so tired of polizia queues
from the previous years, and since I didn't think I would be living in
Italy too much longer, I didn't do it.

2) I learned in September 2006, that there is a 'faster track' for
getting a permesso for some skilled workers, but my (scientific)
workplace apparently didn't know, and had me following a different
procedure since December 2002 that's true for any new immigrant
off of the boat.

>I think eventually you will miss many think from that paradoxical

I think no Italian will ever meet another stranieri like me, who has
tried as hard as I did to live in 'that paradoxical country'. I do know
the things and people I will miss. I've written a few hundred pages
in my travel log of the interesting/endearing things about the country.
In time, I will remember more of the good things.

Once upon a time I was even quite optimistic:

and two years later, still with hope:

even though daily life was unlivable for all of that time:

However, at this moment, the thought and steps to November 17, when I
leave Italy, feels like a large weight off of my shoulders.

>I wish you the best wherever you are...

well, thank you!


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