June 26, 2012

How to prove you are your childrens' parents

Reminder to self: NEVER AGAIN fly through Florence airport during high season! The flight was delayed three hours on the way out and eventually rerouted to Pisa due to an improvised last-minute Florentine airstrike.

Pisa, you are joking???? Just let me check on my i-phone GPS were we are. Oh, I forgot my connection does not work because Orange France cuts off my internet connection everytime I go 50.-Euros over my limit eventhough they posess all my bank details and we need to have a "friendly" chat about it at least once a month.

We eventually got to Florence thanks to a great and loyal friend who came to pick us up at 1o'clock in the morning at Pisa airport.

For some reason still unclear to me you cannot check-in online at Florence airport and therefore - on our trip back to Paris - we needed to stand in endless queues because heavens forbid if they'd have to open more than one counter!

60 minutes later the lady behind the check-in counter kindly informs my husband and I that we cannot leave Italian territory with our children since our names do not figure on their passports! Come again?!? I don't think I understood that part?!? I turn around and ask Expat girl: "How many times do we take a plane a year?" My 9 year-old responds non-chalantly: "About 500 times, Mummy". Nobody has ever stopped me from travelling with my kids! "I can call the authorities" suggests the lady. "Now, that is a brilliant idea, because if you don't I will! I would love to have a chat with the Italian authorities!"

Expat hubby who knows there is no stopping his wife once she is on a roll - no matter in which language - by now knows very well wbere this is heading. Apparently the new law (When exactly did this new law happen, Signora? Ah, 3 years ago! Hmmmm, interesting!!!) requires parents to prove that they are really the parents. Remind me please what we need passports for in that case? Was is not to prove our identites? "So, are you gonna make that call or not lady?"

But wait, maybe I can confuse her by flicking out my Swiss passports, if we're not Italian than it's not our problem, right?
Wrong! That trick didn't work but worth a try I believe. The Swiss will save you no matter how sticky the situation! THE SWISS!

The check-in lady informs us after a short telephone call that the law has changed as of June 26th and that we are allowed to check-in as our children's lawful parents. But wait a minute, wasn't June 26th the day after TOMORROW. I don't think I'll argue with her on this one!

Buon viaggio!

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