16 January 2009

Done, doing, will be done. . .%$#@ posteitaliane

OK. . .

The thesis outline is done and submitted. . .the project I'm proposing is WAYYYY too big for a 70 page thesis. . .

The book proposal for Liguori Publications is due tomorrow. . .so, work, work, work. . .

Yes, there will be a Sunday homily. . .

And, just to brighten my day, I received another letter from Italian customs informing me that my latest shipment of meds from the U.S. is being held hostage in Milan. Just for the record: four shipments of meds have been sent from the U.S. since July 2008. I've received exactly one. I have already run out of one med. I'm quickly running out of a second, which is not prescribed in the E.U.

Pray for my sanity.


  1. Father -

    If all else fails, try this - take an empty American bottle (or inhaler, or whatever) to a pharmacy.

    I found that they would often refill them and the over the counter cost was very comparable to my copay. I don't know what they would and wouldn't do it with, but for me a pharmacy did it for an asthma inhaler and a prescription anti-inflammatory, both of which I ran out of before my semester ended.

    Otherwise, good luck!

  2. You need someone to send you twinkies.

  3. Twinkies would be MOST appreciated...however, they can't replace my heart meds!

  4. Prof,

    Sadly, I take four RX meds! Oy.

    One is refillable here at a much lower cost than in the US, and I am doing so now.

    One is refillable but very, very expensive.

    One is simply not sold in the EU. This one will run out in 10 days.

    And the other is not running low.

    I'm going home in April. Just hope I can make it til then!

  5. can you get 3months of drugs filled at a time on insurance so that you can take them back with you and not worry for at least 85 days??

  6. Mom,

    Yes, we use a bulk pharmacy for our meds. However, they do not ship overseas. My meds are shipped to my house assignment in Houston and one of the friars there forwards them on to me. Customs here has held up the last three shipments from Houston.

    The complexity and inanity of the paperwork is beyond belief. I have fill out five pages of forms, fax them to customs in Milan, go to the post office here in Rome and pay the customs, then send the receipts for payment to customs in Milan and then HOPE they the post office doesn't lose the shipment.

    I have to do this for every shipment!

  7. Father is not exaggerating - the process is nutso!

  8. One of the big news items in the last few months has been the excessive number of laws on the books in Italy.

    Estimated at around 500,000! A recently reported bragged that a parliamentary cmte has trimmed 30,000 laws from the books...

  9. Anonymous1:41 PM

    Hey, Fr. Philip, do you know about the online Catholic Writer's Conference?


    Might be something to look into! I am so sorry your heart meds are being such a pain.

  10. Fun,

    Oh yes, I have the site on my favs!

    Hey, who told you I have a heart!?

  11. Sassy did, of course! I will have to let you know when I upload videos to YouTube including some footage of HRH The Infanta Alexandra. :-)

  12. Jana, please do...I need faces to go this herd you and Steven are creating!

  13. I send you some twinkies. Any other food items you want/desire? I believe the box holds 4 pounds :)

  14. Snup,

    I really appreciate your willingness, but please don't! I can't take anymore eight page letters from Italian customs!

  15. Oh this even better. Amazon can send you twinkies. A big box. Perhaps if you shared the twinkie goodness with the customs people....that or they pass out from the sugar rush and you can sneak out...


  16. Snup,

    The truly aggravating thing all this is that they don't care about the paperwork or the meds. It's all formal, pure ceremony. It's like applying for the permit to stay (permesso). Reams of paperwork, running all over the city from the police station to the Vatican back to the cops over to the post office...it's a rat maze that simply doesn't matter. No one ever asks the immigrants from the US or Canada for their permesso.

  17. Well of course
    Without pointless paperwork these people would be out of a job. Just think about the jobs you are helping to support by filling out reams of useless forms. Theres the guy that tells you the first set of forms to fill out, the second guy that says the first forms are wrong and you need this other set from this guy. Then there are the signatures you need. They can't possibly be in the same building so you have to take some form of transportation, which in turns provides jobs. See you are just a cog in the economy. You also need the right kind of friends if you know what I mean.

  18. Strange. Illegal drugs have no problem but needed medications can't get through.

  19. Terry,

    Oddly, the lesson in this case is: don't follow the rules. The first shipment I rec'd was sent as a priority mail package with no customs declaration. The next three were all sent according to the rules. I will never see those three.

  20. Anonymous1:40 PM

    Yeah, I was gonna say Italians are notorious for not following the rules. If you need them that badly have your priory send them Int'l Express Mail or by FedEx without declaring them. No Italian would bat an eye at that. Do it legally and of course they're gonna make you jump through every hoop and not give a s*** about you.

    PS: I'm a lurker poking her head out for the first time on your blog. I really enjoy it and I'll be praying for you.