Thursday, November 15, 2012

On Dante and Immigration

Surely, had Dante been born just a few years later, he would have included Italy's immigration process as one of the punishments in Hell. Maybe it would be the hell for control freaks, so they could be reminded every waking moment (and of course every moment would be since it's hell...) that no matter how well they prepared or how early they planned to arrive, there would always be a problem and they would always be late.

Every day you would have to endure surly staff. Every day you would have to face the fear of irritation due to the lack of toilet paper in the smelly bathroom that had the toilet positioned next to a street level window with no curtain. Every day you would have to deal with children who, while are cute enough, quickly become tiring when it's noon and you've been waiting around since 7:30 for your 8:24 appointment because you had to arrive before the public transportation went on strike that day.

While you wait outside to actually get into the immigration office so you can keep on waiting some more, you would have to endure the horrible cloud of cigarette smoke that never went away. And of course, you can't move for fear of losing your space in line. And trust me, since the line goes down the street and around the corner, you don't want to lose a before-the-corner spot.

Yes, I daresay Dante would have had himself a good time with this. Maybe it could be an antechamber kind of punishment, to emphasize the peripheral nature of those of us not yet quite fully legally in the country.

Well, I thank the muse (currently unnamed, since I haven't found someone to stalkerishly fantasize over and connect to anything numerically significant) who guided me into the purgatory that was the second immigration meeting of the day (still suffering, but here at least I had hope it would end soon), and then who led me to the paradise that was the train ride back. 

Though it may have felt like an eternity, it most certainly was not. Yes, I thank my unnamed muse that it was just one day.

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