Sunday, January 13, 2013

K in Wonderland
There are some super weird things about being in Italy. I went to the gynecologist's office the other day. I was pretty proud of myself for having found the punto donna which is the right department of the hospital, but once I got in the door I quickly lost steam. Even to get a cup of coffee sometimes it behooves you to grab a number. Generally if there is a line of people you have to utter those four famous words Chi e' l'ultimo? Who is last? Or you have to quickly grab a number or else you can find yourself watching your day disappear at the end of a long line of sniffling, coughing unhappy people with nicer shoes than you. Even though no one else had a number, I grabbed a number so this made me loser number UNO right off the bat. I didn't know what else to do as there was no one sitting at the secretary's desk. I waited around pretending to know I was in the right place for about fifteen minutes until I couldn't take it anymore and I caved. I ended up asking two ladies who I suspected were adult mother and daughter to ask how things worked around here. They told me that every so often a nurse would poke her head out of the exam room on the far right and call someone's name. I still have tendinitis and had to wear sneakers to the appointment so was loser to the second degree. I knew when that time come because this nurse was, and there is no nice way to put this, a door slammer. It made me jump every single time she entered or exited wielding her clipboard as a weapon. She refused to tell me if my name was on the list when I asked, and after half an hour when the room had pretty much emptied out for the night I found out that I was in the right place, but that if I hadn't spoken up they were planning on going home for the night.

The other thing that is not so easy is navigating the bus system. I live near where most of the buses depart at piazzale verdi, but after I bought my ticket I forgot to ask which number bus stop to go stand by. It didn't help that the website had said number 8 and the ticket lady said 10 that is 13, and the driver of the bus to Firenze told me to go stand at number 5. Once I figured out that I should go to stop 13 at the far end of the piazza, I found my bus was there waiting for me, but, unfortunately, the driver wasn't. The website was kind enough to let me know that a bus strike was going to get started that night and apparently my driver wanted to chat with his friends about it just long enough to make me late. Luckily, there was an elderly couple that adopted me and let me know when to ring the bell at my stop and told me not to expect that the bus stop for the return trip would be anywhere near where he let me off for this leg of the trip. They also taught me where the machine was to validate my ticket. I hope they are there again next week as I still don't know where to get off for Capannori.

Speaking of Capannori, F and I made a kind of business lunch today for my personal training client in Capannori named Jessica and her husband Simone and brother William. F made bagels and I made a fool of myself. I didn't get that William wasn't fluent in English the way Simone is and so I held court at the table like I was teaching bilingual business 101 for third graders. Simone is this awesome Marvel comics artist and he speaks English fluently. Jessica doesn't speak English at all, but I had to mostly leave her and her adorable baby Sebastien to their own devices because I was hoping that William who is a great tech guy and can repair computers and get the viruses out of them would be a fantastic match for F and his website creation and they could refer each other clients and broaden both of their horizons. The conversation went something like this: Hi there William, would you like to tell us what you do? F would you like to tell William what you do? How do you think you guys could become partners and work together? It was that painful. Also the bagels came out more than a little on the dense side. And looking back on it we don't even know what we could do differently other than work on our subtle communication as a couple. F admitted afterwards that for the first 20 minutes he wasn't sure which guy was Simone and which was William!

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