Interview with Gia-Gina in Torino
City? Torino, Piemonte
Date of Interview? July 20, 2005
Let us know a little about yourself?
I am a married housewife right now, hoping to get her documents in order so that maybe I can get a job here in Italy. I was born in Vietnam, grew up on Guam and went to college in Seattle where I met my Roman husband.
Why did you decide to move to Italy?
My husband missed Italy and wanted to move back, after being abroad for almost 20 years. We made the trek and here are were in Torino where is has transferred. Hopefully soon we will move back to Roma, his hometown.
What type of process did you go through to be able to move here?
We were married in Las Vegas and living in Seattle, we had to register our marriage with the consulate in SF (we flew there) and try to get our visa at the same time. Their rules dictate first you must register the marriage then apply for the visa. Our time frame was very limited and after three weeks of waiting I was sent back my passport with the visa attached the day before my flight out of Seattle.
What problems did you run into during the initial process and how were you able to fix them?
We had a few problems. Firstly, because we were married in Las Vegas, which is the juridiction of the Los Angeles consulate but lived in Seattle, which is the juridistion of the SF consulate, we had a hard time getting them to work together. Secondly, it been 4 months and our marriage translation arrived in Rome but there is a mistake in the paperwork and I have to contact Las Vegas to see if they can make an ammendment to our marriage certificate to correct the situaion, this takes 8-12 weeks. I am still waiting.
How long have you been here? 4 1/2 months
What type of adjustment problems have you had?
The people in Torino are a bit stuffy and cold and not at all warm. Also being Chinese they think I am an immigrant and trying to weasel my way into Italy. I have not been pleased with the amount of red tape here and how it takes forever to get anything done.
What do you wish someone had told you before you made the leap ?
I knew Italy was this way.... sort of. We have countless Italian friends and I have heard all kinds of horror stories before.
What inside secret could you pass on to others looking to move over?
I would say to them: "If you move to Torino, get ready for a lesson in real patience and exasperation."
Do you have any disappointments, things you thought would happen but haven't for whatever reasons ?
Things take too long and for the first time in my life I am being discriminated against, because I am Chinese, American, a woman and not Torinese.
What has changed about you since you have been here ?
I am more introverted and spend a lot more time complaining than I ever have before.
Do you think that you will stay forever?
We hope to move to Rome which is more open and inviting, then we'll see.