Paperwork, apartments, and minor frustrations

It looks like I have an apartment!

We went back to Trieste a couple of days ago and talked with people at the rental agency about contract details, and are supposed to go back tomorrow to sign the contract with the building’s owner. I’m not sure if I’ll get the keys on the 15th of January or the 1st of February, but it will, at any rate, be soon. I’d like to work on getting a bed in there, and things for the kitchen as soon as I can, as I won’t really be able to live there without a place to sleep and something to cook and eat with.

The building with my soon-to-be apartment

The building with my soon-to-be apartment

Getting a bank account was a little more challenging than I’d anticipated. The first place we went to was reluctant and the person we talked to said that services for Americans were much more restricted than for other people. Apparently after 9/11 the US government put a lot of restrictions in place for offshore accounts, and that means that people like me, who just want to be able to pay rent and the bills, will have a harder time than otherwise. He called around for us and said that another bank would be able to help us, and we thanked him and headed over there.

The process of opening the account there took half an hour or so, not counting the waiting in line. I had to sign a novel’s worth of papers, and was asked if I was a political activist. The answer to this question, unlike the answer to “are you a god?” is always “no.” If I do any deposits that aren’t electronic deposits, I have to fill out a paper saying where the money came from each time I make one, so I’m going to talk to the VA and see about them automatically depositing my disability check while still having my Social Security check deposited in my US account so that I have options for dealing with things in both countries. I have a debit card and some limited internet banking availability. I’m still not sure yet if I can pay the rent electronically or if I’ll have to get checks every month for the rent and my bills. At any rate, I am bank-enabled now and this is a start.

Amid the frustrations of dealing with banks and rental agents, we took a walk around other parts of the city. The Roman amphitheater is right across the street from the Questura office, so I’ll be able to find the place pretty easily when I need to go there to do things like renew my Permesso when that becomes necessary.

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Roman amphitheater in Trieste

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Stained glass at Pescada

A little toward the waterfront from the Questura, and into a pedestrian street, we grabbed some lunch at a fish restaurant called Pescada. The décor was cozy and a bit funky, and they were playing chill electronica rather that the surprisingly ubiquitous English-language pop that most places seem to have going all the time. The food was fantastic as well. It’s definitely a place I’ll be returning to.

The restaurant generally caters to the office workers at lunch, with a fixed-price menu, except on Fridays. I’m betting dinner is really nice too. The stained glass separating one of the dining areas from the kitchen was oceanic, complete with octopus.

We walked around on the waterfront, too, and I took some photos of the city from the dock. The day was overcast and a little chilly, but not too bad. There was a little drizzle but certainly not anything I wasn’t used to.

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Triestine waterfront

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View of the city looking toward the train station

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View of Piazza Unità d’Italia from the waterfront

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Image of the Bora wind from a wind rose on the dock

I still don’t have a Carta d’Itentità. It turned out my brother’s landlady didn’t actually have to sign anything. The guy down at the office in Montereale has never dealt with an elective residence visa before and was concerned that the Questura would want one. They didn’t ask for it, so that wasn’t at issue. Since I arrived on an elective residence visa but am being sponsored into the country as though it was a family reunification type visa, he was not certain which category I belong in, and is not going to issue the identity card until I actually have my Permesso in hand. As previously noted in other posts, that may not be until the first or second week of February. While this isn’t really that long in the larger scheme of things, it does mean that I can’t legally change my address to Trieste until after I have a card for Montereale. Even if I get the keys to my apartment on January 15th, I can’t register my address there until that paperwork is done. I will still mostly have to be living here in Montereale. I suppose it’s not that big a deal, as I do still need to get things together to make the place actually inhabitable by someone who needs to be able to eat and sleep.

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11 thoughts on “Paperwork, apartments, and minor frustrations

  1. Congrats on your new place – tho’, reading about all the bureaucracy, I now see why Italians have preferred to do it all ‘under the table.’

  2. Hoping your new apartment is on the ground floor (or whatever they call it there). Thought of you last night when I had a couple hours of vertigo. No way could I have risked driving – I was staggering around my little, crowded house. No way I would have walked outside, either. You are certainly brave in so many ways!

    I look forward to reading descriptions of the virtues of Trieste and hopefully seeing a map, since my brain was fixed on a Venice-Rome axis when thinking of where you are in the world, in Italy.

    If Trieste has a waterfront, I suspect it is on a coast. Guess I’ll visit a map site & see if I can navigate it with this antique laptop. My Fire is probably dying, so it is becoming imperative that I get new tech – if only to keep up with your adventures. I did reconnoiter Fry’s offerings after having blood tests at Kaiser last week, but their wares were sadly lacking and the salesman less than honest.

    • It’s on the furthest northeastern tip of Italy, on the continent rather than the peninsula. The city is on the Adriatic, only a couple of miles from the Slovenian border, at the end of a long, narrow strip of Italian territory. Wikipedia’s article on the city is a bit thin but a decent place to start: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trieste – The final border change that left Trieste in Italian hands occurred in 1975.

      It’s pretty amazing, really. It’s a lovely city and has one of the best standards of living in Italy according to pretty much everything I’ve read so far.

  3. Oh, yay! I was hoping so hard that you’d get the flat you wanted! Gah, Paperwork! XP Necessary, but it really does sound like you haven’t had it nightmarishly bad, just moderately annoying/boring/eye-roll-worthy. I’m terribly curious how the flat looks on the inside, but obviously you’ll share what you’re comfy with, and that’s fine. I’m so excited for you! *bouncing* \o/

    • You’ve got me on FB, yes? I’ve linked to the ad for the place there and it has some limited interior photos. There will be more as I’m getting moved into the place, fear not!

  4. Hi again Erynn! Brava for snagging that apartment you wanted in fab Trieste. Good too that you found a bank you can work with.

    IKEA is your friend when it comes to furniture. They deliver!

    Next time you go to the Questura in Trieste you might be interested to note that the architecture all around it, facing the Roman excavations, dates to the Mussolini era. Mussolini hated everything about medieval Italy. He wanted to bring back Italy to the glories of the Roman empire. So he went around destroying the medieval centers of hundreds of Italian cities and building these modern government office complexes instead. The one in Trieste is a very good example because it faces the Roman ruins. This was a favorite set up of Mussolini, to unite his government with ancient Rome. If you look at the area behind the ruins (up the hill), you can still see a few remnants of medieval buildings.

    Food in Trieste is some of the most fun in all of Italy because there is so much variety, and so many influences. There is Greek, Jewish, Austrian and even African in the flavors, plus all of the rest of Italy — including the Neapolitans who showed up at one point and are largely responsible for the excellent coffee there.

    By the way, thanks for the invitation to stop by and join you for coffee some time! You are offering quite a treat!

    Hope you can get the keys soon and start getting settled in!

    ciao,
    althea

    • When did Ikea start delivering? I’ve never heard of them doing it.

      It’s sad that Mussolini destroyed so much medieval architecture. I’ll have to have a look around up on the hill to see the older stuff.

      I’m off to Trieste today in about an hour. It’s pouring down rain here at the moment and probably will be there, as well. Not looking forward to getting soaked, but I am looking forward to the drive, as it’ll be a different route than the train.

      Also, thanks for the link below!

      • Don’t know when IKEA started delivering in Italy, but the one in Genova certainly delivers, and carries all the stuff upstairs for you. They’d be out of business around here if they didn’t do that. I think there is an IKEA in between Udine and Trieste. They may not deliver small stuff like curtains and dishes, but beds and carpets, yes.

        But you might also find bargains and deliveries in Trieste itself (I’ll bet it has fantastic second-hand stores) plus also there is that huge outlet mall in Palmanova. I’m not sure what stores are there (it might be all clothes). I once got stuck in a cloudburst driving around there so I pulled into the enormous parking lot of the Palmanova mall to wait it out. If you go, stop by the actual town of Palmanova too. It has a fascinating historic layout in the shape of a star. The whole town is a military fortress.

    • I visited Palmanova last summer, briefly, on the way to Aquileia. We stopped for a snack in the main piazza and walked out to the walls for a little bit. We drove past the outlet mall you mentioned on the way to Trieste yesterday. I’ll check around. It couldn’t hurt to ask if IKEA delivers, and it might make things a little easier if they did. Bookshelves, maybe, though most of the ones I’ve ever had from them have fallen apart within a few years – sagging shelves, frames not holding together well, that sort of thing. I’d rather pay a little more for something sturdier, considering how many books I have.

      Sadly, unless I only got really small things, second hand shops aren’t likely to work for me because I would have to carry the things home on a bus or in a taxi. Being on foot means I need to find places that deliver. So much stuff to sort now, but I’m really looking forward to being in my own place.

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