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Today was the day I was going to finally submit my citizenship application now that I had my certificate and the 250 Euro fee that goes with it. I scanned the certificate on Rami’s iPad, just like I had with the rest of my documents that have been uploaded on my application for months, and then had to transfer that doc to my computer, change it from an image to a PDF (easier said than done for many reasons) and then the website decided it didn’t want to take the document, regardless of how many applications I used to reformat it, because that’s just how websites work with me.

I went up to the tabacchi outside our door to get a tax stamp I needed as well. Manuela, my wonderful neighbor that is my lifesaver for so many last-minute things, saved me again.

“Are you sure it’s the 16 Euro one? Double check.” I ran back into our house and checked the instructions. She was right. I went back up and down again, returning with the stamp I needed, and entered that into the system. Finally, it wanted to take the scan of my certificate too.

Last thing was the bank. I just had to make a transfer to the bank numbers listed and I’d be done with a process that I started two years ago. As I refreshed the page, my streak of “luck” that I’ve had this week continued. The page came back white, with just a strip of writing in a peaceful blue color that was probably made to pacify angry Italians:

“Per attività di manutenzione straordinaria Il servizio non è momentaneamente disponibile.”
“Because of extraordinary maintenance activities, the service is not currently available.”

…in Italy, patience isn’t a virtue, patience is a survival skill. I’m glad this is extraordinary maintenance, and it better be, because there is no one in this country that willingly works on a Saturday, and for extraordinary maintenance, I’d hope someone would begrudgingly be fixing things, but it’s been a half a day, and tomorrow is Sunday, so Monday, apparently, will be the day I submit my documents.

Now, for years, I was a firm believer in everything happening for a reason. Call it something based in faith or just a blind desire to have everything bad to have subliminal good attached to it, but even though some people have really blown a great big (reasonable) hole in the theory (there is no REASON good people die while bad people stay alive, etc), I still cling to it. So there must be a reason that the citizenship gods just decided that today was also a big fat NO. Hopefully, I’ll figure out the reason eventually, but today I’m going to bow down to this week of roadblocks and maybe offer up a sacrifice to them tomorrow to please please please let next week be the “right” week for paperwork and please for the love of all Gods available to deal with this, no more extraordinary anything.

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