Friday, May 25, 2007

I am official

One never knows what one is going to do when one wakes up in the morning. Today I was up unusually early again (but no running), so I went out for my daily walk while it was still cool and no crowds. Beautiful. I dont think I could ever get tired of this place. By about 830am, the crowds start descending on Piazza San Marco. So, this was a good time for me to head the other direction and check out this church that holds services in English! However, halfway there, my realtor calls and says he needs my signature on the rental contract because it is time to register it. Back home I go (as the realtor office is in the same building as my apt).

What a process. We rewrote the contract when I arrived in May indicating that I had paid for the year in full up front. But the owners wanted to re-read it themselves just to make sure nothing else has changed. Now, 3 weeks later, they have sent the contract back approved. Carla and Elena live in Padova, about 1/2 hour away on the mainland. They are sisters and born in the early 20's so I guess 3 weeks isn't so bad! Now, the fun begins. We have a few pieces of paperwork to fill out and then we are off (oh yeah, and the fee to register--lets not forget another fee!). First, we go to the bank and pay the fee. Then we stop at the tobaccharia (tobacco shop where you also buy lottery tickets and stamps) to buy 4 marco da bollo stamps which are the official tax stamps (at 14.62 euros each) that are needed to make all documents legal. Then off to some government office where you draw a number and sit and wait for your turn (much like the States). An hour later, our number is called and the man signs and stamps a million times each copy to say that he received the marco da bollo stamps (no kidding, they are pasted on the contract, silly). After that, we stop to make copies of the newly approved contract and take it to another office in the Palazzo Ducale (i.e. Doges Palace) where they accept one copy of the rental contract and send us away. Then we stop at another office where we have to register the contract because my building is considered historical (finished in 1609--surprisingly only aobut half the building in Venice are considered historical even though they are all very, very old). Having done that, we now have to go to the Questura (Police Dept) to give them 3 copies of everything (we stopped to make more copies)--the contract, my passport, my visa, and various other sundry forms. They take them all and we are done! Whew! 3 hours of the day spent delivering photocopies to various departments. And they have to do this with each rental contract! Ican only imagine what happens when you buy a place here!

Now, I didnt have to go with him today, but it was either that or the same amount of time, I could have completed almost 2 loads of laundry....its hard to say which is more inefficient..the washing machine or the government!

As a side note, I will include my address so that I receive more than one piece of mail this year! 5990 Castello (this is the address),
30122 Venice, Italy (this is the zip and city, country---its backwards from the States)

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