I thanked my driver for finding me. Oh, you guys. I knew where he was from, but I made him say it anyway.
My driver was from Italy. I asked him how long he has lived here, and it has been six years. He has excellent English, by the way. Arizona can be very unforgiving to foreigners, and he may be working extra hard with both his pronunciation and his comprehension for that reason. I asked him if he was going to keep dual citizenship, because I know that Italy will do that, even for people who can show proof of lineage but have never lived in Italy. My driver said he currently had a green card, but everything is a lot of work, because it is constantly expiring. He has a driver’s license, but only for 6 months, and he has to renew. He might get U.S. citizenship just because of that.
I asked if he moved here to study, or if he moved here with family. My driver reluctantly said it was family, so I sensed a story but I didn’t ask. I know that in Italian families, children don’t move out from parents’ homes until they are married, and sometimes even then that doesn’t happen. Home and land ownership is very expensive. I think his citizenship status may be tied to his marital status, but that is pure speculation.
My driver and I talked about passports as well. Mine expired this year, so I need to renew just so I have it. (As a side note, towards the end if his presidency Trump’s administration sent me a questionnaire asking what I intended to do with my passport when I renewed it again. It was at once disturbing and childish. Um, I was going to use it to travel. Duh.) We discussed the backlogs with passports and what we have heard about where people have had to travel to in order to get them processed.
I would have liked to have chatted with him more, and my friends and family know I always seem to befriend those European men. I actually had to force myself to speak slower because I know it’s rude to talk quickly with someone whose first language isn’t the same as yours, but I get excited and I always want to fit as much as I can into these short trips.