Thursday, May 12, 2016

The day I became an Italian citizen

Stadshuset Kungsholmen Riddarholmen, Stockholm, Sweden  |  The day I became an Italian citizen on afeathery*nest  |
My (at times excruciatingly) long journey to becoming an Italian / E.U. citizen is finally complete—a few days ago we went to the Italian Consulate on Djurgården so I could pledge my allegiance to the Italian Republic and officially become one of her citizens.

At the end of last year, three and a half years after I applied for citizenship, a certified letter arrived with the news that citizenship had been conferred upon me and I just needed to do a few final things to make it officially official, like, re-submitting translated and notarized documents from U.S. agencies that were included in my original application (yes, again), swearing my oath, and (naturally) paying another fee.

When R became an American citizen, he did so with a certain amount of pomp and circumstance (which I enjoyed in my exhausted and anxious state)—to be fair, he took his oath along with about a hundred other people in America.

I became an Italian citizen while living in Sweden and did so in a "ceremony" just for me.

The ceremony being: arriving at a very, very sad little building where nary an Italian flag was waving, waiting for one hour past our scheduled appointment time to be ushered up a rickety pair of stairs to an office filled with boxes of documents and lined with shelves of rubber stamp doohickeys, and reading the one-line oath off of a printout twice (as it took two separate tries to assemble the required number of witnesses).

That was it.

No Italian paraphernalia. No anthems. No miniature flag handed to me on my way out (R received a miniature American one in NYC and RF received one here in Stockholm when we took him to the US Consulate to register him as an American citizen).

When we walked out of the gloomy building, not even the gorgeous day on Djurgården (one of my favorite places in Stockholm) and RF's adorable drool-y smile as he looked up at us happily from his stroller could shake me out of the funk brought on after such a long-awaited day ended up being so disappointing.

But then R told me he had booked a celebratory lunch for us at Villa Godthem on the northern side of Djurgården, where we had a tasty, typically-Swedish lunch on the waterfront (which included the gifting of a very nice little gift). Afterwards we strolled across the lane to Flickorna Helin & Voltaire for dessert on the terrace (which was obviously a ridiculous slice of their decadent carrot cake for me).

Then, since the day was just so supremely sunny and beautiful (and because I had stashed you-never-know blankets in the stroller), we laid them out under a tree with a view of my favorite villa on Norra Djurgården and spent the rest of the afternoon lolling about lazily while watching RF practice his rolling over skills.

Turns out I had my very own personal Italian(s) to provide me with all the fanfare italiano I so desperately wanted.

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