Hip update and bureaucracy rant

Hip update and bureaucracy rant

Tuesday, November 16th, 2021

Things are going pretty well with the hip so this post will have an update but will not be the central theme. The central theme will all of the bureaucratic stuff that I need to do by the end of the year including the two least favorite things: renewing my permesso di soggiorno (residence permit) and renewing my annual contribution to the SSN (servizio sanitaria nationale – National Health Service). Plus I need to see my dentist for one of the last steps for a dental implant.

A quick update on the hip. I returned to the hospital for a checkup last week. This included an x-ray and examination by an orthopedist. I had been a little worried about the relatively slow recovery but I was reassured that everything was in great shape and he said that from that day on I should only use one crutch. I was incredulous but when I got home I gave it a try and found that I could do it without any real problems. So it was more my mind that was holding me back. So now I’ve made the appointments for the next two weeks for all of the things that I mentioned above. Also I’ve been reassured that after two more months the hip will be totally healed. Of course there is still the other one (the left) but I hope to get that one done maybe in May if I can get it scheduled that soon. It should heal faster than the right one.

The forms for a permesso di soggiorno are long and complicated (and only in Italian bureaucratize) and I have gone 3 times to an organization that helps foreigners to navigate the process. The first for the initial document and twice to renew it. They are very helpful and are used to having people that speak imperfect Italian and have a lot of patience with us. So I’ve gathered the necessary documents: my passport, the existing permesso that expires at the end of the year, a copy of the apartment lease, a statement of pension income (social security 1099 for 2020) and I always have my carte d’identita (ID card) and tessera sanitaria (medical card) with me when I go out. After I have the forms then I need to buy a tax stamp (marca da bolla) for 16 euros and then go to the post office to send the document package to the wherever it goes (immigration department – I think it goes to Rome) and receive a date and time to go to the local immigration office to finish the process (fingerprints), etc. But before I go to the local immigration office I need to go the bureaucratic office of the SSN and pay for the next year – usually about 1600 euros. Considering that that’s about $180 a month it’s a real bargain. The folks at that department are not very friendly so it’s always a pain in the ass. Next year I can apply for citizenship after 9th of October because at that point Laura and I will have been married for two years. I’ll also apply for a permesso di soggiorno because I’ve read that the citizenship application can take a LONG time. Considering the the permesso di soggiorno usually takes 3 or 4 months that’s really saying something. There’s a reason that Italy if notorious for it’s bureaucracy. When I do get citizenship then that eliminates the two most annoying contacts with the bureaucracy, the permesso and the SSN renewal. I’ll feel a little guilty about having free health service since I’ve not paid into the system (like social security in the U.S.) during my working life. I plan to give a similar amount to some health related charity here to bureaucracy assuage my guilt.

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