July 4, 2019
Thank you for supporting my candidacy. My campaign is hot. I have a number of committed votes, and our internal polls indicate that I am leading the pack among women and dog owners. I think with those two blocks, I have a really good chance of winning this. That guy in the White House better get a dog if he wants to compete with me. And I don't even have a twitter account yet. I know I said no twitter, but my campaign manager is insisting, so look for my twitter campaign coming soon. I will let you know when it goes live. I have been thinking of some great tweets like, "The Country is Going to the Dogs," or "Four Feet Forward for More Stability and Less volatility," or how about "It's Time for a Paws," and "I'll Jump Through Hoops to Get Things Done Right." Maybe I don't want to use the word right, after all I can't say I lean in that direction, and I don't want to give any false hope or comfort to that side of the aisle.
I think I've hit a nerve with many people. Twice in the last week I've read headlines using my phrases. The country truly is going to the dogs, and my campaign is leading the charge.
Right about now I am charging to the water dish because it is so hot here. It's been in the 90s, and it will continue for the next two weeks. No relief in sight. And each day the house gets a little hotter and the tile floors a little warmer. Just imagine if you were walking around in this weather wearing a fur coat. Our house is not air conditioned, but we do have a little room air conditioner which I think we will have to use if this keeps up. Thick stone walls only do the job for so long before they heat up and the house gets hot. While I am complaining about our weather in Poggio San Marcello, it is one of the coolest spots in Italy. Even so, with no rain for a month, the hills are all brown just like back in California. I'm glad we aren't in France where the temperature hit 115 degrees. Global warming??? It's time to rejoin the Paris Accord I say.
This hot weather is bringing out all kinds of creepy, crawly and slithering things here. I've never seen things like these before. Of course, there are still my favorites, the lizards. I finally caught one and found that they are rather tasty treats. Maree was not amused. Today, I was out on my patio and I looked up at the wall. There was something crawling there between the wall and the shutter. I just caught a glimpse of a tail as it went under the shutter. At first, I thought it was a lizard, and I got up to run and get it. But as I approached, I went, "WHOA, that is not a lizard." Whatever it was I had never seen anything like it before. It was long and thin and black and it didn't have legs. How could it move without legs? I guess it couldn't jump like me either. It had little beady eyes that looked sinister. I didn't like the looks of it. Something was telling me maybe I didn't want to chase this. Maybe it wouldn't taste too good anyway. It didn't look very edible. So I backed up and left it alone. Maree apparently didn't like the looks of it either since she made me go in the house and wouldn't let me back out until that thing decided to wander on out of the yard. I hope it doesn't return because I wouldn't want to come face to face with it unexpectedly. It probably wants to feast on my lizards.
Here in Italy the hurdles of bureaucracy continue to rise higher and higher. Four years ago when Jim and Maree went to get a Permesso di Soggiorno (green card) it took three weeks after they had their finger prints taken. Now, it has been more than six months. So last Monday morning Jim, Maree and I got into the car and drove the 45 minutes to the police station in Jesi to check in and see WTF??? (Can a presidential candidate use those words without the twitterverse going nuts?) Anyway, we went on a Monday because when we went to check on the status at the three month point, we went on a Wednesday. A mean looking man with a grumpy attitude told us only people with appointments could be seen on Wednesdays. He said we had to come back on a Monday or a Thursday. This time, we walked in on a Monday knowing that Wednesday was not the right day, and we stood around for a while waiting. Eventually, the same grumpy man approached Maree and asked what we were there for. When she explained our problem, he said, "No we cannot deal with your issue today. Today is only appointments. You must return on Wednesday." ARG!!! The worst part of this ordeal was taking the drive to the police station because the air conditioning in the car decided to bite the dust, and so it was a very hot drive through several little towns and behind an oversized farm vehicle going at about 10 miles per hour. Eventually, because Jim and Maree made no effort to try to leave, one gentleman who obviously had an appointment, started to reiterate what the grumpy man said suggesting we should go. Because we didn't want to get into any altercation with folks waiting, we left. Boy was I glad to get out of there. I just don't understand this waiting around thing and standing in lines. Have you ever seen dogs line up for anything?
When Wednesday arrived, just as hot, and still no air conditioner in the car, we headed back to the police station. When we arrived, I am panting like a dog. Well, what did you expect? There were a bunch of people in a sort of line and any number sitting in seats. A man in the chair section immediately told us that all of these other people got there before us. Okay, so why weren't they in line? Anyway, Jim and Maree walked me over to the line after the aforementioned gentleman took his place there. Now, here we were in line, and I started sniffing legs. Well, you know there was a great mix of people all smelling different, and I wanted to taste each one. Some of those people from other countries definitely did not like me sniffing their legs though. I think they were afraid of dogs. So, I was on a very short leash. No more leg sniffing for me, and I laid down on the floor to await our turn. (Have I mentioned that although I am involved in this travesty of justice, I do not personally need a Permesso di Soggiorno. So I am just with Jim and Maree for moral support and because they are afraid if they leave me home there will be no furniture left when they return.) Eventually, our turn arrived and we approached the counter and explained our dilemma. The clerk consults her computer and says, "Your application is being processed. You will receive an SMS when it is time to pick it up" She didn't appear at all surprised by the fact that it had already been six months. Apparently that is the norm now. The influx of immigrants in Italy has grown astronomically over the past four years. Maree is still perplexed. She can't understand that it can take this long to process our application when we are really just renewing our Permesso and we own a house here? If this goes on much longer, Maree and Jim's visas will expire before they ever receive a Permesso. Isn't Italian bureaucracy great?
What an interesting time to be here. But I am looking forward to returning to California one day in the near future. It won't be too soon, however, as the prospects for selling our house any time soon aren't looking good. I miss the dog park and my friends and the wide variety of treats and toys. And I could do with fewer creepy, crawly things.
Hoping your life is full of treats and free of creepy, crawly things.
Your Italian friend,
Dino the Snake Whisperer
I am Maree, the voice of Dino - or at least I am the one who does the typing. For more information about me and my life in Italy, you can follow me at theproseccoproject.com.