Yes, it has been a while. To be precisely, I’ve been away for the whole year. So what exactly have I been doing?
I think it started with a marketing exam. Did you know that in Italy you select a time when to take your exams yourself? There are two different days within the exam session after each semester, and an extra session in half a year. In any given year you have to take at least two exams to be transferred to the next year. You can accumulate the debts endlessly. So it took me 1,5 year to solve my marketing problem (and I even know marketing quite decently). November 2014 was my last chance to take an exam not to sit an extra year in the university. I was so terrified to fail that I learned the marketing course book almost by heart. It hardly made me a lovely companion: I was talking about empty self, alienation of our generation, collapse of all traditional institutions and creation of identity through opulent consumption. All this just to arrive to the exam, to see the test and to realise that I do not know a single answer, yes-yes, not even one! I had three minutes of deepest desperation, while my groupmates were writing something with a remarkable speed. As I had nothing to lose, I raised a hand and asked what book we were supposed to read. The book I had studied was the right one, just our professor gave us the wrong test, for a different year. Still wonder, what were my groupmates writing there?
The marketing exam was passed and this shameful page was tuned. But it was a thesis time. I may have mentioned that my passion lies in the sphere of Street Art. But in Italy professors have to publish some academic works with a certain frequency, that’s why they do not care about one’s passions. So I ended up writing about Consumption of Religion through Art (Holy Jesus). To be fair, I should mention that all the alienation part of my Marketing course book, mentioned above, fitted perfectly well on the pages of my thesis. Needless to mention, that I submitted it the very last day?
I arrived to Milan only couple of hours before my defence, as at this point I couldn’t care less. 20 minutes and I was in the hat 😉
In between the marketing exam and the deadline for the thesis delivery I got married and went for a very short honeymoon in Paris <3. I am still waiting for a Caribbean trip, which hopefully may happen one day (sooner than later).
Then I went through a whole round of being miserable waiting for the UK permit of stay. I think this deserves a detailed description. I am a white woman, which means I must have been one of the most privileged humans, standing in the hierarchy of non-discrimination right after a white man. But this is not the case: there is one thing wrong with me, my nationality. I was born in the third world, and each time passing the “Non-EU” corridor with the baggage of my two higher educations and several foreign languages, decent job and even a EU husband I feel myself an outcast of the human race. This corridor reminds you, that all who are born in EU are by default decent human being, in contrast with the criminals from the “Rest of the World”. To re-enter the UK after 24 hours of absence you will have to queue for an hour and answer whether or not your conditions have changed (How can they possibly change in 24 hours??). Back to the point: I applied for residence permit, sending all documents (passport inclusive) that I had via Royal mail. What I believed to be a very straight-forward case (me & my husband lived together in the UK before getting married for a year) turned out to take 5 months to review! 5 months without documents, right to travel, even possibility to go to the bank! No information about the status of the request, no way of tracking it online, no transparency at all. Constant fear, as many applications with documents were lost in the post – so you literally have no clue, if your case is still on review or if it has been sent to you ages ago but never has been delivered. I am not quite sure it even goes along with the human rights (my passport is taken for up to 6 months and nobody can provide me with an information where is it), but in the eyes of UK system people from third world have no rights at all. I still wonder what were they reviewing for so long, as they could easily check our bank records, job status etc. – we have been UK-based. The process of getting the initial UK visa to enter the country was even worse, I won’t describe it here. I just wish more people speak up about their experience with Home Office, and in the end the number of complaints would be sufficient to change the situation. It is a shame, shame, shame.
I got a permanent job, probably another topic that deserves a separate discussion. There are ups and downs, as everywhere I guess. There is also a lot of stupidity and laziness, and I am not sure whether this is a property of my current employer, national working style, or global trend.
When I get my passport back, we were finally able to travel. We’ve seen Berlin, been twice in Belgium (both times a week before the terracts, so I doubt we should go there any more), and finally made our way to Naples (we had an arrangement that my bf would propose me in Naples, but it was too late. He bought me pizza though).
So here I am, a married woman with MSc in Management of Art, Culture & Media, UK residence permit and somehow employed. Plus I set up my self-hosted blog, tantoverde.com, where from now on I will publish the recipes. Will be happy to see you there!
I am not sure if anybody remains here and reads this my post, but I hope so. How are you doing, guys? It’s been a while 🙂