Day # 1: Alissa fills out paperwork
On my first day here I went up to SISSA to start to fill out my paperwork. I hopped on the bus which takes a twisty road up to the top of the very steep hill. Unfortunately, when there are too many people on the bus, it can't quite make it up the steep hill and starts to roll backwards down the hill. That was fun. So a bunch of us get out and walk to the top of the steep hill before getting back on the bus. Apparently, this is not really uncommon???
I finally make it to SISSA and start on my paperwork adventure. I go to Office # 1 and fill out paperwork. I go to Office # 2 to fill out paperwork. Then I have to go back downtown to Office # 3 where I fill out more paperwork. Then back to SISSA for lunch and return to Office # 1 to give photocopies of the paperwork from Office # 3 to Office # 1. Then to Offices # 4 & 5 to try to get my SISSA login and password set up (side note: it didn't work). Then downtown to Office # 6 to get my permit of stay. That's in the post office, which I was told was right down the street from the last bus stop. I walk down the street see the big sign that says it is the post office but it looks shady and I think there are signs telling me to not go in. Luckily, I can't understand those signs and I go in anyway. Oops. I found the service entrance to the post office. Luckily some nice guy takes me to the right spot. He is impressed that I am from Chicago, which makes him the second Italian I've met who is really impressed by this. I'd tell him I'm from Wilkes-Barre but I don't know if they really watch the Office here. Anyway, I wait in line and the woman hands me a mountain of paperwork. It's all in Italian. If I want help filling it out there is an office like 3 blocks away that can help. I forgot my map at SISSA and get lost. I finally find Office # 7 but it's closed.
I give up for the day. Nap time. After a nice, comatose-like nap, I wake up somewhat disoriented and figure I should go to the grocery store. I wander around for a while and figure out where everything is. I like things that have labels in English :) They are few and far between. It's hard to figure out which things have milk products in them. I bought a bunch of things, though I doubt I could actually make a full meal out of my items. I was a bit hodge-podged in my selection. I couldn't find any non-dairy ice cream, which I will make my task for another day. People warned me that peanut butter would be expensive:
That's 4.29 Euros for a tiny jar of pb! I know what I'm bringing back from the US next time. Also, there were no frozen Amy's burritos :( Probably for the best though, frozen burritos aren't really good for you, even Amy's. But I really do like them. I also didn't find any jars of pre-made thai curry mix that I often just eat with some frozen veggies and tofu mixed in. Or rice. Well, there is rice, but no instant minute rice and I somehow manage to burn it every time I try to make it myself. Even if there was minute rice, I don't have a microwave. I appear to have some sort of newfangled toaster oven. I guess I will be forced to improve on my cooking skills :)
Stay tuned as I keep trying to get my permit of stay, a cell phone account, and a bank account (among other things).