Sometimes I wonder if the roadblocks thrown along my path are signs to just give up and get out of the race, or if they are a test to see how badly I want to reach the end.
Heading to the Italian Consulate in LA today, I contemplated this very thought. Two years ago (almost to the day!) I started my quest for dual citizenship. Shoddy memories, inaccurate dates, cash outlays, international communications, bi-coastal mailings, post office aggravation, missing paperwork…and did I mention cash outlays? The road to dual citizenship was one roadblock after another. I was hoping today would be the last leg of this journey.
Driving to LA in the best of circumstances takes about 45 minutes. For those unfortunate enough to have to travel during morning traffic, the ride takes about 1:30 hours. How long did it take on the rare day it was my turn to be traveling into LA during morning traffic? TWO hours, bumper to bumper, single digit miles per hour. Six gears on my car, and I never got past 3rd. It was so incredibly frustrating. I was going to be late for the appointment I waited to go to for 18 months. I just hoped they would not say “Oops, sorry! You missed your appointment! Come again, real soon now, ya hear?” ROADBLOCK!
I hate to be late. If I am not 15 minutes early, I am late. And, I hate to be late. I arrived 30 minutes past my appointment time. This, in my world, made me 45 minutes late. And, I hate to be late.
I checked in, and had a seat. I could feel the stress leaving my body, realizing that yet another roadblock had been overcome. I met with Monica, who remembered me from my incomplete visit 3 months ago. She was much happier this time because I had all the necessary paperwork. I had it all stapled nice, in the order of the blood line, with all my raised seals, all my translations, all my apostilles, all my i’s dotted and my t’s crossed. I signed here, dated there, gave her my passport and driver’s license to photocopy and my package was now complete.
Or was it?
In case my sister and nephews want to apply for their dual citizenship, I wanted to make sure all the paperwork was in order, and that they would not have the same problems I had. Upon further discussion, Monica advised me to make a photocopy of my package, give her the copies, and send the originals to my sister to use at the New York Consulate. Ordinarily, making copies is not a big deal, but I left my copy machine at home.
Promising Monica I would be right back, I headed out to the information desk to inquire as to the whereabouts of a Fed Ex Kinkos (not just any copy store, but one I own stock in). I was told to go out the lobby, make a right and there was would be a CVS there with a copy machine. I might not own stock in CVS, but time overruled ownership loyalty here. Walking for blocks, I finally saw the CVS. Inside was one dinky copy machine that required a host of dimes to make operate. ROADBLOCK! I asked the manager if I could just make copies then pay the amount based on the page count when I was done.
Of course not. However, he did know the location of a Fed Ex Kinkos. Just out the door, right, then a few more blocks up. Spending what seemed like days making copies, I considered the cost of the copies an investment in my investment!
I headed back to the consulate with two packages of documents and to Monica so she could verify that my copied package was complete.
Getting her A Okay, I learned that the package would be sent to the originating town (Ragusa Sicily) for verification. In approximately 4 months time, I would get a letter stating my status—rejected or accepted. Two months after an accepted status, I can apply for my Italian passport.
Shifting gears, another roadblock overcome. 😉