Thomas nel supermarket

28 Sep

I spotted this little blurb in a free commuter paper today while riding the bus and got a big kick out of it.

Any of my fellow ex-pats out there who are in regola (legal, with a stay permit), who aren’t EU citizens, and who didn’t automatically get a stay permit through marriage—well, they most likely have a very interesting story to tell you about how they ended up with their permit. Truth be told, it’s just not all that easy. Wait, I take that back. It’s nearly impossible. Yes, I have my story (because as you may know, I’m not getting married until next year, yet I am here legally). But it is only to be told in person over one, or several, glasses of wine. Quite the tale of timing, luck, and a hilariously Italian legal loophole.

But Thomas, the hero of today’s post, has a story that easily outshines my own. He took a quick yet risky route, one that I don’t think is even written down anywhere in the law books (will have to ask my resident lawyer on that one). Take a look at the article:
Here’s what it says:

He thwarts a robbery

Now he’s legal

Palermo: A prize, rather two prizes, for having foiled a robbery attempt. Thomas, an illegal immigrant from Ghana, was working under the table in a Palermo supermarket, where he succeeded in preventing the robbers from taking the cash. His courage was rewarded with a stay permit and a work contract in the supermarket.

People, I ask you: can this possibly be true?

It must be. I mean, after all, it was in Metro! Albeit, a free commuter paper, so perhaps the news is worth what you pay for it.

In the end, I don’t really know, but all I can say is, bravissimo Thomas! And who knew that the real trick to becoming a legal worker in Palermo (or anywhere in Italy??) has nothing to do with applications, quotas, long lines at the crack of dawn, etc., but rather a willingness to defend your supermarket from cash-hungry thieves.

Only in Italy!


7 Responses to “Thomas nel supermarket”

  1. FinnyKnits September 28, 2006 at 10:58 pm #

    I wonder if they have a box to check for “Undercover thief wrestler” on the permit? I’m just glad to see that, for once, the free-form (to put it nicely) nature of the Italian bureaucracy is working in someone’s favor.

  2. Travel Italy September 29, 2006 at 1:47 pm #

    I am a bit confused:Is the “only in Italy” because the employer actually appreciated something done by an employee [making the job regolare thus the person eligible for resident status] or because the worker was in nero?If it the first case I would agree. Here in the US, an employer would never do anything for an employee, the immigrant slave labor is too important to corporate profits for employers ever to compensate employees for a good job done!

  3. Shelley - At Home in Rome September 29, 2006 at 3:07 pm #

    Travel: I guess the “only in Italy” is for the ingenuity of the whole episode. I was suprised that a random act of courage such as this could be rewarded with an incredibly difficult to obtain and incredibly sought-after legal document, or that it took him doing something as drastic as this in order to become eligible for such. It just seems like an interesting “bending” of the rules, or inventing new ones, which I find so often here.

  4. Stelle In Italia September 30, 2006 at 6:21 am #

    shelley, why, didn’t you know about this way of becoming legal? yes, i did it similiarly, and you can too: i stopped a drunk bicyclist from hitting an elderly woman who was crossing the street! Now I’m working my way up the ladder to big-time hero and hoping to score free citizenship!you’re right: only in Italy.

  5. Expat Traveler September 30, 2006 at 4:16 pm #

    LOL – now that is great! Yeah I wish under the marriage law in Canada, it would automatically make you a perm resident, but it doesn’t. I’m stuck in a long wait right now so I can really understand this…Such a great story to share! Stella told me aobut it, thanks to you both.And boy would I love to hear your story. I left Switzerland after a few of my ways of staying fell through. ;-(


  1. Jessica in Rome » Blog s/iArchive » 3 Things I Will Never Understand About Italy - March 29, 2008

    […] 3) Why so many people continue to wait for years to become legal by sorting the ridiculous laws, demands for all types of paperwork and documents only to probably end up being ignore and denied anyways. If you watch the news, all you really need to do is immigrate illegally, get a job under the table then save the life of an Italian citizen and you are good to go! See this story and this one from Shelley. […]

  2. 3 Things I Will Never Understand About Italy « Jessica wants to be… - June 9, 2010

    […] under the table then save the life of an Italian citizen and you are good to go! See this story and this one from Shelley. « Previous: All Roads Leave From Rome Mind Packing – Next […]

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