Monday, July 21, 2008

Finalmente!

I am a resident of Rome BUT I still have to return to the *&$#! Comune to get my Carta d' Identita. Today I walked in with all my files and copies of everything you can think of to my 9:30 appointment. The same gentleman who started my residency process in May completed it. He didn't ask to see any of my files, just my passport. It was done very quickly. I have never seen so much paperwork in my life. What's up with all the special stamps I had to buy?

Anyway he told me in rapid-fire Italian that I needed to return with the forms he gave me to get my I.D. Of course I couldn't get the card today because all the numbers were gone.

I was talking to my parents over the weekend and they said my trips to the Comune sounded like dealing with the Marie (not sure of the spelling...it's pronouced MaREE) the French equivalent. I remembered when they first moved back it seemed like every time I spoke to them they were on their way to or had just returned from that office.

Speaking of contracts and paperwork, I went to see my lawyer/agent on Friday and signed the contract for the film project. I am shocked at how quickly my deal closed. I still need to get a Partita Iva (kind of a freelancers/business Tax ID number). There is a woman at the firm who handles these things. Thank God.

So I have crossed one major hurdle. Next up two things, become fluent in Italian and get my Italian drivers license. The residency process wiped me out (and it's technically still not over). At this point I can't even think about dealing with the Italian version of the DMV. I'm going to worry about my license in the beginning of '09. My International License doesn't expire until May 09. I have never driven a stick before. It will be an interesting experience.

28 comments:

Diana said...

It will all work out. You are thru the worst of it for now, and getting the driver's license should not be too bad---just remember, don't wait until the international one expires to get the process underway, you need to have the new one when it expires. (this is in my been there, done that, lost the right to drive for a year file). You are a trooper, a REAL trooper for doing this, and everything will fall into place for you after having taken this brave step. In boca lupo

michelle of bleeding espresso said...

Awesome! Things are really moving along now, eh? :)

joanne at frutto della passione said...

Great news. You must feel pretty relieved!

erin :: the olive notes said...

wow! Things seems to be moving quickly for you...sure it doesn't feel that way sometime, but you really have accomplished a lot! So happy for you.

LuLu said...

Yay!! All that hard work and drama is finally paying off. I'm so happy to hear that everything is falling into place for you.

milanese masala said...

Gosh, things are pretty complicated in Rome. It was pretty easy for me to get my Carta d'Identità but I lived in a small town just outside Milan. I think things are harder in the bigger municipalities.
Good luck with learning how to drive stick. I was terrified and took tons of lessons but I managed to pass my exam. And now I zip along the highway every day. If I can do it, anyone can!

Leanne said...

Good news about the id - almost there.
Do you even want to drive here though? I am meant to swap mine too as since I am Australian I cannot just swap it for an Italian one. Maybe you can since you drive on the same side of the road as they do here? When I went to the driving place in Calabria there was a list of which countries could and couldn't automatically swap them over. Maybe you will be lucky?

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Congrats! That must be such a relief. And I'm sure your Italian or at least your Italian battling skills have improved throughout this ordeal.

Sherry said...

Hooray! One step closer to being able to put some (if not all) of the bureaucratic, administrative headache behind. Congrats on sealing the deal on the film project quickly. You're really doin' thangs over there.

Adrianne said...

I am waiting to be called in by the Swedish authorities to get my Visa renewed after two years.

Congrats to you.

Please join the Black Women in Europe Social Network:
http://blackwomenineurope.ning.com

Sissi said...

"the Marie (not sure of the spelling...it's pronouced MaREE) the French equivalent."

it's written Mairie or you can say Hotel de Ville.

It seems Italian mairie are just as chaotic as french one. I'm dealing with them since June, I need to renew my passport and I have applied for the french passport for my children (they hold US passport), it's a nightmare! So much paperwork, it's crazy!
Being in summer time doesn't help, for the "fonctionnaire" (government employee)summer equals vacation.

Ms. Violetta said...

Good on ya!

glamah16 said...

More challenges. At leastyou are living and speaking Italian everyday. Remarkable.

romerican said...

Rock on, what progress!
About the partita iva, i'm sure you've gotten plenty of info and have spoken to people about it but just in case, I want to give you heads up: you pay more taxes when you have a partita iva- no matter how much or little you may earn. Also, you have to pay a monthly fee to a commercialista to "fare i conti" because it's impossible for mere mortals to keep up with all the changes in financial rules & regulations (and it's dangerous because if you mess up- you're held accountable whereas the commercialista takes the blame if they screw up).
Most of my cinema friends don't have a partita iva because of the excess costs involved, they just get paid with a receipt (ritentuta d'acconto) or they get a per-project contract. I have a partita iva and dread the day I was forced to open it because it's sucking me dry!!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

diana - grazie..I just have to make through this last step. Thanks for the tip about the license.

michelle - yes they are. :)

joanne - I am relieved about the residency. Going back to the Comune for the I.D. card? Not so much. ha.

erin - thank you. I'm so looking forward to the day when this particular process is behind me.

lulu - grazie!

milanese- I might ask a friend in the States to send me a Driving Stick for Dummies book. I am very nervous about driving here.

leanne - Unfortunately I won't be able to swap. The United States does not have that agreement with Italy. I don't have a car now but I think it's important to have a license. What if I want to rent a car one weekend and my USA license has expired? I think the written test is offered in English among other languages.

jen - Thank you. However, the only Italian that has improved is my knowledge of swear words. ha

sherry - grazie mille.

adrianne - two years in Sweden? That doesn't even sound right. Hope you hear back soon.

sissi - Thank you for the correct spelling. Good luck. I'm glad that this process is almost done. I would hate to be in the middle of this after August 15th, when most of the country shuts down.

ms. violetta - thanks!

glamah16 - Saying I speak Italian is kind of stretch but I try. :)

romerican - thanks for the advice. I have heard conflicting things about it. It's all very confusing The firm has a commercialista in house who handles these things for their clients. I will ask her again about this because she told me that if you make under a certain yearly amount your withholding is x percentage. Over that you start to get hit with the higher taxes but as a writer/producer there are many deductions I qualify for. I know for this project even with the Partita Iva my withholding is not bad. Which is good because this broke ragazza needs every euro.

*Belgian said...

great news! And driving a stick is easy, I'm sure you will pick it up in no time!

homebody at heart said...

Yay! sounds like things are cooking along for you and don't sweat the stick shift. It's easy to shift gears/apply the gas in those little cars. I think in Italy it's the directions and parking that would worry me.

ninety9 said...

Yeah you! That's wonderful news. Just wanted to add my congrats. More comune drama, huh? That which does not kill us makes us stronger. But I'll say a little prayer as a preventative measure.

romerican said...

Companies that hire freelance workers always prefer if you have a partita iva because that means they don't have to pay the contributi for you. It costs them less money this way. And obviously costs you more.
In addition to the actual withholding from your pay (income tax), you're also responsible for paying your own contributi for INPS, IRPF, and IRAP. And that's it where the money goes.
Good luck!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

belgian - grazie. I hope you are right about the stick thing. ha.

homebody - My god I forgot about the whole confusing signs issues.

ninety9 - I am not a patient person. This experience forced to realized sometimes things are just out of your control and you have to roll with the punches.

romerican - grazie... capito. For my last job I was paid as a freelancer and was responsible for all FICA, social security, health insurance, etc. etc. My accountant always reminded me to keep every single business related receipt, including things like what I paid for HBO (that fell under research and development). I think here I have to ask for a special one and show my Iva if I want to write something off.

davidL said...

well, if it's anything like France, the residency process is never over!

At least there's gelato...

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

david l - zut allors. And yes good gelato makes up for a lot of life's difficulties.

Stefan said...

ok - so if u thought getting the id card was a hassle, wait until you get started with the driver's license! good luck..

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

stefan - please don't scare me. It's worse than the id process? Oh mio Dio.

Stefan said...

well look at it this way - you're not going to have to deal with il comune this time! i wasnt trying to scare u, just take it as a warning (:
besides the fact that its a very costly affair (500/600 euro) - it takes time. i wanted to study on my own, and take a few private lessons (after 10 years of driving u forget all the small things they can fail u for..) and take the tests..believe me - go to a guida scuola and pay up. they'll take care of all the paperwork, appointments, taxes, lessons and la foglia rosa (application) etc. if u fail the written test, you'll have to wait 7 weeks - same goes for the practical test. the test is tricky (u know they love playing with words!), but the school will prepare u for them.
it will feel like a mile-stone in ur life when u finally get it !! festa festa
in bocca al lupo ragazza

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

stefan - I was def. going to go an guida scuola. I heard you can take the written test in English (along with several other languages now) or is it better to take the oral Italian? Does the 600 euros (!!) tuition include all the paperwork fees?

wordtryst said...

Wow. I'm so impressed. That really happened fast - the film deal, I mean.

Wow again.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

wordtryst - I'm was surprised at how fast things moved as well.