our first port of call is to a barber shop; Eugenio needs a haircut. It’s not surprising that as soon as he sits down in the chair and discovers the barber is Italian, an animated conversation ensues. The immigration situation is soon the focus of the exchange.
With the typical sense of Italian drama, the barber, who is a stout bald man with a black handle-bar moustache, places a hand to his chest saying, “Ma siete pazzi? State qui in Salisbury! But, are you mad? Stay here in Salisbury!” Nodding his head, he continues. “Salisbury is the place! Listen to me. Go to the government office this afternoon. You don’t even need an appointment. Tell them you want to apply for residency. I guarantee that you’ll have a response within the next week, before you even go back to South Africa!”
As soon as we exit the barber shop, we decide to go for a coffee and discuss this astounding declaration. “Puo’ essere cosi facile? Do you think it can be so easy?” I ask.
“Well, they can’t seem to make a good cup of coffee here so maybe it’s not so easy,” Eugenio retorts placing down his cup in disgust. “But, it’s certainly worth a try. Anyway, we don’t really have a lot of money and we cannot keep relying on the goodwill of other people. So, if we can get immigration sooner rather than later, we can find premises, start a business, and then start earning money!”
I quickly agree, wishing desperately that it would fall into place so simply.
“Allora. Well then. We apply for immigration at the Salisbury government office and if we hear news quickly … al diavolo Sud Africa! To hell with South Africa!” declares Eugenio.
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