Aug
13

Those pesky permits, plus some creative parenting

By
I appreciate that Venice (well, San Giorgio, in this case) is seductive and irresistible and beautiful and everything. But it wouldn't have been less beautiful the next day. It's been here for 1,500 years -- presumably it can wait for a family to have dinner and sleep.

I appreciate that Venice (well, San Giorgio, in this case) is seductive and irresistible and beautiful and everything. But it wouldn’t have been less beautiful the next day. The city has been here for 1,500 years — presumably it can wait for a family to have dinner and sleep.

After I began to think about it more clearly (that is to say, after I thought about it in the mountains, where we just went for four days, breathing air that was cool and dry enough to resuscitate my mental processes), I realized that I made a small miscalculation in the payday for the police.

I’m referring to the extra paydays they gave themselves by forging permits and whatever else they were doing to help eager immigrants make it through the bureaucracy.

Yes, each of the accused maintainers of public order did indeed receive 300 euros for finagling the permit, which seemed to my super-saturated brain to be pitifully small.

But now I realize what sharp readers have long since understood: It was 300 euros multiplied by God knows how many times they orbited the cash register each day.  Each week.  Each month.

Before long, it won’t be only God who knows what the total came to.  I presume a phalanx of lawyers and judges is already pounding its calculators.

Not me.  I don’t care anymore.  I’m on to other things.   I’m more interested now in the German couple who drove their camper  1,026 km/637 miles from Dresden to Cavallino-Treporti the other day.  Even though the trip probably took them ten hours, and most likely more, when they got there the first thing they wanted to do was to get on the motonave and go to Venice.  How romantic, how beautiful.  And how inconvenient that their ten-year-old daughter dug in her heels at yet another trek before the day could finally be over.

Nothing daunted, her parents locked her inside the camper.  Then they went off on their own, feeling fine about her being fine, except she wasn’t.

She got out of the camper, couldn’t get back in, became distraught, and was collected by a sympathetic passerby who took her to everyone’s favorite caretakers, the Carabinieri.  Who were waiting for her parents at midnight when they got off the boat from Venice.  To present them with the formal accusation of abandonment of a minor.

Mann kann nicht alles unter einen Hut bringen, as they say in the Vaterland.  You can’t put everything under one hat.  Neither can you have everything you want, including a child-free jaunt to Venice whenever you feel like it, no matter where you might be inclined to put it.

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Comments

  1. Mary Ann says:

    if only we’d known! It took us 2 years, constant hassling, unlimited jaunts to various consulates, translations and re-translations, x number of new documents to replace outdated ones (such as birth certificates.. which, um, do tend to get a bit dated… and a threat from the European Citizens’ Action Service to get our residency permits…

    • Erla Zwingle says:

      I thought there was only one way in which birth certificates could become outdated. But evidently not! Yes, perseverance is a great thing, especially necessary if you decide to do things by the book.

  2. Andrew says:

    The 10 year-old dug her heels in? My response would be, ‘Tough. You’re going.’

  3. Erla says:

    That sounds like a great idea. That way you can demonstrate that the exact same behavior that is objectionable when you’re ten is perfectly acceptable when you’re an adult. Plus, you show your child that her thoughts and feelings have no importance, and that people who are bigger and stronger always get to have their own way and can force other people to accept it. A trip to Venice is just full of teachable moments.

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