As you guys know F and I are in the U.S. for a bit. But I have enough Italy posts saved to keep this blog going until the end of days. And I could probably even keep it going after that. F talked with a psychologist who prescribed Oliver as an “emotional support animal” for F’s “anxiety during travel.” Trust me, I’m just as surprised as you are. So Oliver was allowed to fly for free without being in a cage. We arrived to the Rome FMO airport with F’s parents. We all said our goodbye’s and F’s mom sobbed “Oh dio!” and I patted her on the back and was all, “we’ll see you soon! We’re not leaving forever!” but she just glared at me so she obviously thinks I’m a liar.
We were fully prepared for disaster with Oliver but as life goes when you prepare for the worst your dog suddenly becomes a different dog and is PERFECT FOR THE ENTIRE 24 HOURS OF TRAVELING. We boarded the plane and he crawled under the sleep and slept for the 11 hour flight into Atlanta. F was sulking the entire flight because the stewardess made him check (for free) his gigantic carry-on bag. “But I don’t understand why everyone has to follow the rules! It’s stupid!” And it totally makes sense that following rules would be shocking to him since pretty much nobody in Italy has ever followed any rules ever. I once flew through Rome with nearly a gallon of water in my carry-on. Nobody even checked it. And they never cared about the random fuzzy handcuffs that were in there since my honeymoon (a funny gift from my bridesmaids) but apparently you can’t have them because in Paris THEY TOOK THEM OUT AND WAVED THEM AROUND and were like, “hey guys, hee hee hee, you can’t bring these with you.” Because a terrorist would totally take over a plane with pink fuzzy handcuffs. Anyways, what was I talking about? Oh yeah! So F was furious that the stewardess was following the rules so he spent eleven hours glaring at her and mumbling, “Your people are so annoying” under his breathe.
When we arrived in Atlanta we had to go through immigration because F has his Greencard. At that point Oliver hadn’t peed in 13 hours and I was freaking the fuck out. I asked everyone if there was somewhere he could go outside and they all shook their heads sadly and said, “no, sorry.” I tried making him pee on his potty pads in the bathroom but he was all, “What the fuck is this!? THIS IS NOT GRASS YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE!” Immigration was really easy at the airport and super fast. When he was given his permanent resident status in Naples they sent him a super secret brown package that says, “DO NOT OPEN” in big red letters on the front. The American government obviously doesn’t know that red writing gives people anxiety and that’s why they don’t use it in schools to correct work anymore because we’re too emotionally fragile for red ink. I think they do it on purpose to shake up the ALIENS. The guy that did our immigration was nice and fast. I held Oliver in my arms who wiggled uncontrollably while a little Columbian girl pulled on his leg while she waited to immigrate too. The guy pulled out F’s papers, wrote a few things, had F sign something, and then was all, “Welcome to America,” and I considered telling him that America is a continent and not a country but I thought it was probably the wrong time to correct someone’s poor geographical knowledge.
After that Oliver had to go through agriculture inspection which took less than thirty seconds. We read online that he needed seven million documents all translated in English but all the guy cared about was his rabies vaccination. He didn’t even look at the other stuff that cost me 150 dollars in translation fees and weeks to collect. He didn’t check Oliver at all. Just looked at the paper and pointed to the exit. We had to recheck our bags and then go through security and I kept Oli in my arms so he didn’t piss all over the airport. Finally, after he’d been waiting for 15 hours (we felt horrible for him and like the biggest assholes in the world) he could finally go outside. The airport in Atlanta has a tiny grass area with a fire hydrant for dogs in Terminal F. He peed for a full minute, made his doody, and we ran full speed with him through the airport to our next flight in Salt Lake City. In the US nobody asked to see his paper work which was nice. They just asked, “Is he an ESA or Service dog?” we’d nod and they’d just smile and then molest his head with love.
Four hours on another flight and we arrived in Salt Lake City at 9:45 p.m. after a total of 20 hours of straight travel with five bags and a poodle. Oh, and I had the flu. It sucked. They lost the carry-on bag that they checked in Rome because Americans follow too many rules and last we heard it arrived in Atlanta and then was shipped somehow to Germany. Way to go Delta! In SLC my step dad Brian picked us up from the airport because my mom said, “I can’t drive after five because after five is drinkin’ time” and we drove for one hour to my mom’s house where we were fed some kind of pasta with cream sauce and shrimp (cute mom, but no).
Right now Oliver is angry because he doesn’t understand going outside in the snow to use the bathroom and he just pees on the lawnmower under my mom’s balcony while glaring at me. F and I both have the Flu and F is panicked about the “shit you people eat here” otherwise known as poor quality American food. But everyone keeps screaming MERRY CHRISTMAS at us so that almost makes it okay. Almost.
- Learning Italian language key to immigrants’ integration (afroitaloevents.wordpress.com)
- Italian-American neighborhoods of America (usatoday.com)
- Italian Work Permit – Immigration for Non EU citizens (incorporateinitaly.wordpress.com)