Yesterday was my third visit to the motorizzazione, in my ongoing saga to convert my UK driving licence to an Italian Driving licence. At 5.30 I arrived at the office with Mrs Sensible in tow, she wouldn’t let me bring my sharpened fork.
Signore Cretino once again asked if he could take a photo copy of my driving licence, Italian identity card and my codice fiscale. Just for fun I also handed him my British Passport. This is the third set of copies he has taken. He must be building up an impressive file.
The first problem we hit was the name on my UK driving licence didn’t match the name on my British Passport or my Italian Identity card. Mrs Sensible explained, that in England it is possible to combine the surnames of the husband and wife when they marry. He wasn’t very impressed; I have to take my hat off to Mrs Sensible because she calmly explained that she was right and he would just have to accept the situation.
The next step was my medical. I had to visit the doctor who had an office next door, but way up on the fourth floor. By the time we had climbed the steps, I nearly needed a doctor to resuscitate me. We passed an old lady on the way up who was slowly climbing the stairs for her medical. She looked about 80 years old. When she finally entered the waiting room she looked 85 years old.
It is impossible for 20 Italians to sit in a waiting room and either sit quietly or to whisper to their partners. It took them about 3 nanoseconds to realise I was English.
Old Lady: “Your husband is English, Does he understand Italian?”
Mrs Sensible: “Yes he is English and no he doesn’t understand much”
Pecora Nera “I speaks Italian small small”
Old Lady “Ah! His Italian is very Good”
Mrs Sensible looked to heaven and I gave a huge grin.
Mrs Sensible then showed everyone in the doctors waiting room, my new driving licence photo. She used the following words as she handed my photo around e’ Brutto, e’ schifo.
The old lady laughed and showed her photo. A second lady who was sat across from us produced her driving licence. I would estimate her age somewhere between 65 and 70. Her photo showed a woman of 26 with a 1960s hairstyle.
Pecora Nera “ That doesn’t look like her, how can the police identify her? I mean she looks like her daughter or even her daughter’s daughter; but with a 1960s hairstyle”
Mrs Sensible “In Italy we don’t need to update our photo”
Pecora Nera “Madness, so you can be 85 and use a photo taken when you were 18?”
Pecora Nera “ I English I speaks Italian small small”
Doctor “Ok we speaks English, I speaks English little”
Pecora Nera “ Oh your English is so good, thank heavens you understand English”
I passed the medical and we went back to see Signore Cretino at the motorizzazione.
As we entered the office, the following conversation was taking place between a young man and Mr Cretino. Mrs Sensible quietly translated it for me, while I laughed into my hanky.
Young man: My driving licence was suspended by the Carabinieri. When the suspension was over I went back to the office to collect my licence. The Carabinieri in the office had lost it!! So I asked them what they intended to do about it.
Signore Certino: And?
Young man: The Carabinieri said “We won’t do anything, it is your problem. You need to sort it.”
So I asked how do I sort it, what do I need to do? The Carabinieri told me to come here and apply for a brand new driving licence. He said “take your documents and two photos.” I asked him if the photos will need authenticating, he said no, so here I am with the documents and the two photos.
Signore Cretino: You need to authenticate one of those photos; you need to go either to the Carabinieri or to the council.
Young man: But I have just come from the Carabinieri and they said it wasn’t necessary.
Mr Cretino: Well, they could have authenticated them, but they didn’t, so now you will have to go back to them and come back here tomorrow.
As regards to my driving licence, I am now in possession of a piece of paper with a sticker on it. This wonderful bit of paper is valid for 30 days and only valid in Italy.
3 steps forward and 5 steps backwards.
P.s Multifarious Meanderings is trying to get a French licence in France, go and read.