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Bureaucracy, Gelato And A Pair Of Shoes


That’s what Italy is most famous for, and funnily enough, you can have it all in one afternoon.


Since the UK left Europe, life has been a little more……difficult, shall we say. Today was the day I had to present myself at the immigration office for fingerprints and document checks. Any kind of visit to a government department is always nail-biting, there’s always something that you don’t have, an extra photocopy of something, a document which wasn’t asked for, a photo, a tax stamp. Me, I take everything. I check a million times that I’ve everything on the list, plus all the other things I’ll never need. My entire life story in an envelope.


Wendy Byard - Becoming Me
The old city of Chieti

At the appointed time I arrived at the desk of the local Questura, and to my complete amazement, I was ushered into a room. Now that’s not something that normally happens, you always expect the worst/the unexpected but this really was a first. The appointment went swimmingly. It was all over in 20 minutes, with only a minor panic on my behalf as I couldn’t find my tax stamp (that was one of the things that wasn’t on the list). Well, that really was something.



Wendy Byard - Italian Ice cream

A celebration was called for at the oldest bar in the city, a gelato, and then a passeggiata along the main corso with all the other beautiful people. And then……


Along one of the narrow streets on the way back to the car, I peeked into a small shoe shop…… ooooh, how beautiful these places are, full of incredible shoes at incredible prices. The kind of shoe shop where you salivate on the windows thinking that one day you would be allowed to enter the realm of the elegant woman who walks slowly and exudes confidence.


And there in the window were the most beautiful pair of heels.



Wendy Byard - Shoe shopping

After cooing for a while I noticed the card below them said ‘only size 41 - reduced €169 to €39’. Now, this NEVER happens, finding a size 41 shoe is very difficult because everyone has such small feet, so they either sell quickly or the shops don’t bother stocking them. I gave up looking a long time ago, much to the relief of my credit card. Now the question… should I go in and try them on, or should I keep walking?

It took all of 5 seconds to decide. The little voice inside my head said “you’ll regret it if you don’t”, so I did.

At 1.85m I’m already pretty tall in these parts, with my new shoes my head is in the clouds, but you know what… it feels very special to own a pair of shoes which cost that much, and I feel like a princess in them, to me they are priceless.


#Chieti #Italianshoes #gelato #lifeinitaly