Yesterday afternoon Giovanni had a Dr. apt on the northern outskirts of Milan- after leaving the apt. we decided to drive up to Como since we were not too far away. It was really nice drive with little snow flurries in the air and a little bit of snow on the ground- Beautiful!!!! Once we got to Como we decided to head up to Bellagio we did not get 5 min from Como when we slowed down to let a car pull out in front of us. You see they had been pulled over by the Carabinieri (one of the MANY police type of authorities here) and were now pulling out- we slowed to a stop so they could easily pull out and then the little uniformed man waving the white stick with a red target like circle flagged us to pull in!!! Gio and I were both confused- we had not done anything to merit the "pull over"!!! As one officer checked out Gio's license, registration-and the insurance stuff the other one did a little walk around the car with Giovanni *this is very different from USA they don’t care if you get out of the car* he was checking out the tires and telling Gio they needed to be changed- then he asked what we were transporting- nothing- Gio opened the back to show him the spare tire and empty water bottles rolling around back there. It was as if they were searching for something to nail us with! Then they asked for my documents. *Another difference, they usually ask for all the documents of passengers* we handed over the copy of my visa and my Utah drivers license- I could tell something was up when they started looking at it funny! Sure enough the visa- being only a copy was not valid- I have to carry around the real thing as well as my passport. Not only that but apparently my Utah license is not valid for them as a id- I know I need to get my Italian id card! I was thinking... "so what are they going to do? take me in b/c I don’t have my correct documents"?
Then came the best part!!!
Both officers came to my side of the car and asked me a few weird questions.....
Officer "how did you enter into Italy"?
Me: "On the airplane with my passport" Very perplexed
Officer: "okay, I understand that, but are you a monaca?"
Me: (not knowing what the heck a monaca was) "ummm I am a Mormon"
Officer: "I know the Mormons, I respect them, but for us the system shows that you entered Italy for religious reasons. When is the baby due?"
Me: "in less than 2 weeks, I entered in 2002 with that visa- in 2003 I went home and 2 years later I married him (pointing to Gio). I don’t understand why it shows that I am still under a religious visa- I have had 2 family visa's since then"
Officer: "My colleagues and I are curious, why is a monaca pregnant"?
Apparently he thought I was a Woman Monk- monaca, the word I did not know, and that b/c I was pregnant Gio was trying to take me to Switzerland to escape or something!!! How funny is that!!! We had to do a little explaining, but in the end we left (not going to Bellagio) without a ticket and lots to laugh about! Here are a few pictures from the drive back!
Happy New Year to you all!!! Buon Anno a Tutti!!