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5. November 2011 Denisa Vuchtrlová

Trip to sunny Florence and the “Codice fiscale”

This is it! What I’ve been looking forward to so much is just beginning. I am taking my seat on the bus that goes to Brno and then on to Florence. My parents’ worries have made me a bit nervous - their sad mood as I was boarding the bus brought me down. But when I heard the engine and the bus took off, it all just fell off me and I could not wait to get to Florence.

This is it! What I’ve been looking forward to so much is just beginning. I am taking my seat on the bus that goes to Brno and then on to Florence. My parents’ worries have made me a bit nervous – their sad mood as I was boarding the bus brought me down. But when I heard the engine and the bus took off, it all just fell off me and I could not wait to get to Florence.

The trip from Prague to Brno was peaceful. I got a bit insecure in Brno, surveying the platforms and buses and trying to find the one that was to take me to Florence. Happily, a kind stewardess noticed me and directed me towards my bus. So I boarded a bus again, a likable older lady sat next to me, and when she addressed me I knew she was Slovak. She entertained me by talking about her family and job during the entire trip.

Now that we’re in Florence, I need my suitcases unloaded and then it’s off to my new apartment and independent student life! My new landlady picked me up at the bus station and took me on a trip around Florence. When we got home, she showed me everything and let me settle in. On that very day, I met my flatmates Francesca and Alessandro. They were both very kind and promised me to help me out with everything initially. Everything looks beautiful, and I am finally where I wanted to be all my life.

At that moment, I had no idea what a whirlwind would start in just a few days… In Florence, and in Italy generally, people have plenty of time and are in no rush. The first time I found out was when I needed to get to the city center. Schedules are likely just suggestions, as delays of ten to twenty minutes are commonplace. The carriers went on strike the next day, so I just walked – and I didn’t mind that much; it’s always around 20 degrees Celsius and sunny here.

But my biggest problem arose when I learned of the “Codice fiscale”; it is something like the birth registration number in our country and, simply, you can’t exist without it in Italy. So I set out to the office to apply for my “Codice fiscale”. As I walked in they told me that their network had just gone down and asked me to try some other time. So I went there again the next day; everything was in order except that there were many more people this time, and a single officer at the counter. I asked for the form, and then I had to wait for forty-five minutes, and then for another thirty minutes at the counter with an officer who had a really hard time typing my surname on the computer. But it all ended well and I became a full-fledged resident of Florence three weeks later.

But lest you think that I’m complaining – that is not the case, not at all. Everybody is just so very nice and open that you forgive them immediately and start getting used to their slow pace. After all, the pace is quite pleasant – unless you need something really urgent, that is.

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