Showing posts with label pet passort. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pet passort. Show all posts

Monday 18 March 2024

Software engineer enjoys the Dolce Vita, working remotely in Italy for American employers

There's a little snippet of a story in the newspapers today about Americans being tired of political strife in America and fleeing to live in Italy for a bit of the Dolce Vita.

The general drift of the story is that people are indeed tired of the crazy politics in America and it would appear that some Americans are tired of the prices in America compared to those in Italy.

To return to the software engineer enjoying the Dolce Vita. He comes from San Francisco. To outsiders, San Francisco is meant to be a nice place but I believe that crime has taken over due to the legalisation of drugs. But I might have got that slightly wrong.

Woman and her cat living in a hilltop village in Italy
American woman and her cat living in a hilltop village in Italy. Image: DALLE-E 3

Anyway, the software engineer's name is Phil Puleo, 47. He left San Francisco and his $3000 a month flat during the Covid-19 pandemic.

He now pays €850 a month for a larger apartment in Rovigo, Italy, in south-west of Venice.

He says that "It's walkable, safe and coffee costs €1.20 not the $7 I paid in the US."

The best thing for him is that he is still doing his old job but remotely. He is able to keep his American wages which must be very good for him now that he works in Italy with the Italian prices being much lower than American prices where he worked and lived in the past.

The only downside is that he is now a shift worker. He has to adjust for the time difference between America and Italy and he now works from 3 PM to 10 PM but perhaps that is not a downside! It seems pretty cushy to me.

Phil is not alone. Other popular destinations include Lake Garda, Florence and Rome. A high profile emigrant to Italy from America is Kristen Helmstetter. 

She emigrated to Italy with her family and swapped her Michigan lifestyle for a hilltop town in Italy five years ago. She cites the crazy American politics. 

And she wanted to show her daughter a different way of life. It's said that she is part of "a growing exodus of Americans taking citizenship in Italy to escape the political polarisation and toxic culture wars in their homeland." Those are the words of The Times journalist, Tom Kington. Kristen was able to get an Italian passport as she has ancestors from Italy.

Apparently there are between 16-24 million Americans living in America who can take advantage of an Italian law which offers citizenship to those who can show that they had an Italian ancestor alive in 1861 or later.

Now, what about cats! I've got to add them into the article somehow. My initial very strong feeling is that if you have a cat companion their lives are going to be much better in a hilltop town in Italy which will be sleepy, quiet, warmer, beautiful, less noisy et cetera et cetera.

You have to comply with the pet importation laws into Europe from America. I have a story of an American who takes his three cats from America to Europe on holiday! Brave man. Interesting attitude. Read about him by clicking on this link.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Sunday 7 May 2023

Some Ukrainian refugees to the UK smuggled in cats and dogs

Under the UK's Homes for Ukraine scheme which started not soon after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, many of the refugees were women. Some were with children and many were from the capital, Kyiv. They had managed to leave the country fairly early during the war by firstly crossing into Poland.

Some Ukrainian refugees to the UK smuggled in pets
Some Ukrainian refugees to the UK smuggled in pets. Image:

I can recall at that time, that there was a hugely bureaucratic system for getting companion animals into the UK as they accompanied their refugee owners. There are some real difficulties in that scheme because they had to overcome the usual barriers of importing pets into the UK. There's rabies in Ukraine but there's no rabies in the UK. That probably is the number one difficulty requiring caution by the UK authorities.

I'm told today by a social worker who was helping arrivals into the country that some female Ukrainian refugees smuggled pets through immigration. The social worker tells me that:
"One young woman arrived with her son and a cat and a large dog, to find her hosts were expecting her to sleep in an unheated garden shed. She eventually returned to Ukraine, having decided her quality of life would be better there."
There are two things about that quote. Firstly, the Homes for Ukraine scheme although hugely beneficial to more than 120,000 refugees was not faultless. There was some abuse and some exploitation and, in some cases, the British hosts were not really in a position to provide temporary housing for their refugee guests. Some Ukrainians decided to take the risk of living in their own home in their own surroundings are went back.

The second point is that some refugees smuggled their pets into the country understandably I would say because of the huge amount of bureaucracy and delay that was occurring at the time.

Perhaps the most important point to make about the Homes for Ukraine scheme was that it demonstrated the generosity of the vast majority of UK citizens both in terms of general charitable donations and in helping out the refugees.

It should be added by the way that not all of them were desperate and in a dire state. After the initial influx of female refugees, some men followed. Some were of a fighting age and therefore they should not have been allowed to have left Ukraine under that country's current legislation which demands that they fight the Russians.

And they were all given benefits to help live despite some of them being well off as the social worker mentions that one couple were in the process of buying a BMW!

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