Money: Spent

Each of the last few posts have taken way too long to make, which borders on not fun. So, I’m probably just going to throw some pictures at you and call it a night. After all, I’m not doing this for you. I’m doing this for me. All me.

I successfully opened a bank account last Wednesday, once again employing the aid of a fellow researcher who knows two languages. Boy, I’m sure glad I didn’t bother to learn any Italian, really, ever. Now that I’ve been here a month and a half, I’ve learned a few Italian words from being around Italians, like the word for bag, sacchetto, and this, questo. Yay, me. Hopefully, a certain shipment of Rosetta Stone will soon be found very useful.

Here’s that archetypical Savona church I’ve been holding back from you:

The one people were dancing in front of.

Here’s another one, no kidding, one block away:
Read the rest of this entry »

Man vs. Culture, Episode 1

Dear dia…erm, no, uh, what?

Last Friday, I applied for my residence permit, which one would imagine the visa process would have sufficed for, but whatever. Basically, a guy copied information out of my passport and visa and took down the names of my mother and father. Then, he got my fingerprints with some electronic fingerprint scanner. Then I went upstairs, where another man got scans of my fingerprints, again, along with scans of my palms. And that was it. Without a fellow researcher who had volunteered to essentially be a translator, I would have been royally screwed, though, as the waiting process was actually complicated.

This comes after giving a detailed form to people in a more central office, in Genoa, where I was issued an appointment here in Savona. According to my researcher/translator, coming to America for a long period, this is all done right off the plane.

This may be complicated and annoying for another reason than pure bureaucratic zest. A lot of these hoops were supposedly made with the purpose of making it harder for illegal immigrants to stay here. As with America, these immigrants come from the south. In the waiting area, there was a large minority of Africans.

With as much strife as there is in Africa, I don’t particularly blame them. At the same time, there are a whole lot more people out there living in hellholes than the entire population of the somewhat-free world (scratch-paper calculations there). So too bad.

I’m still in the hostel, even though classes started last Wednesday, because University housing is apparently completely unplanned. Freshmen show up and start living in the dorms, and then they see how much room they have left for everybody else. Which is funny because the guy who invited me here did a lot of work to get me housing for cheap.

Edited to Add: I just talked to an actual Italian in the same program as me in the University, who is also living in the seminary. He was told he could move in on October 15th. (I think he said ‘fifteenth,’ may have been ‘fifth,’ but that is probably wishful thinking on my part.) This hosteling thing is going to cost me through the nose. Jesus.

Which will hopefully work out at some point, considering I won’t see a pay check for a while. I need to have an Italian bank account to do that. I need a residence permit to get an Italian bank account. I may not have a residence permit for up to two months. I need one for money-man to even start the paperwork. Bitter? No. I’ll just keep paying for everything with cash I pull out of the odd ATM that can take American cards.

Not very fun to read? Have another church.

Another big-ass church.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Seminary: A Photostudy

Read the rest of this entry »

Savona at a Glance and Other Stories

Savona is a smaller city, with a population of about 60,000, an hour west of Genoa by train. It is on the Mediterranean coast of Northern Italy. Here’s a map.

All Hail the Omniscient Google

There's a little Google Map marker where I am right now.

So yeah, I can walk to the beach. There are a few hotels right there. I’m not sure if it’s really much of a tourist destination. It’s small enough so Americans don’t know about it unless they really know Italy. You can probably vouch for this yourself.

It has a rich history, that I don’t really know much about. It’s been around forever. And a half. There’s a fortress.

The fortress.

You can walk right in at any hour of day or night. A large part of the structure appears to be being used for office space now. Really. Those windows have modern glass. There is a nice restaurant behind the wall on the right side of the frame. There is also graffiti. A lot of it. There and throughout the city. It’s kind of ridiculous.

Read the rest of this entry »