laf had taken several weeks off after the local election with the idea that we would be heading down to the town in which I would be applying for my citizenship and I could get settled in the apartment in which I would be spending the next 6-8 weeks.
Unfortunately, because of the news of the reluctant clerk, we have everything on hold. We are waiting for the call…and the days turn into weeks. We decide, mid-September, to pack the car and drive down to Italy as planned. Best case, I will get a call with an appointment and in the worse case, we will drive back together. We make some hotel reservations in the spots along our travel south – in Innsbruck Austria, in Bologna, and in Naples. We are hoping by that time, we will have more news about my next step.
Early Saturday morning we pack the car and head for our first stop overnight in Innsbruck. The next day, after lunch, we head to Bologna (on the must-see list for Olaf). The following day we hop in the car and continue on to Naples where we will stay two nights. During our drive, I receive a notice of a phone conference with my agency for Tuesday.
The Tuesday of the phone conference finds us in Herculaneum. So, in one of the few shaded spots, sitting on the steps of a 2,000 year old house, Olaf and I sit to take the call. We have hope for the news – that the clerk is accepting of my application and I can move forward with the plan.
But that is not the message. The clerk is unwilling to process my application and an alternative town and accommodation must be found. More delay, more waiting, more disappointment. As we sit, surrounded by antiquity, we ponder our next steps on this trip. Eventually, we get up and complete out tour of Herculaneum, walk back up the hill to the train station, and head back to Naples and our hotel room. Since this is our last night here, we have decided to return home rather than wander around Italy like a nomad. We plan our trip back stopping for one night in Verona and one night in Salzburg (the birthplace of Mozart). Now we wait, again, for contact from my agency for my next step.