This post should set expectations among friends, family and colleagues for our return home next year: we will likely be bald. (“Calvo/a” in Italian, but in the feminine for the title of this blog, as acknowledgement of who is mostly at the front lines of navigating all things Italian for us!)
Today was the latest episode of bureaucracy-induced hair pulling, this time navigating 2 hours of calls to get a doctor’s appointment...at least we think we now have a doctor's appointment.
One highlight (hair-related pun intended, although it’s more like "lowlights"), as follows:
Doctor’s office: “Now that we have your appointment scheduled, you can get the payment ticket completed.”
(Note: All spoken in rapid Italian, which in itself is hair-raising.)
Americana: “The what?”
Drs. office: “The payment ticket, of course. Call this other number.”
First clump of hair pulled out.
Payment ticket administrator: “Since you are not Italian, the payment ticket will need to be on a white form, not a standard red form. However, you need to see the doctor for a referral letter, so you can get the white form of the payment ticket.”
Americana: “But the doctor won’t see us without the payment ticket!”
Second, larger clump of hair pulled out.
Payment ticket administrator: “Well, then you can get the referral letter just before your appointment, bring that to us and we can fill out the white form, then you make payment of 20.36 Euro so we can stamp the form, then go back for the actual appointment.”
This is so mind-numbing that no response is possible, and the Administrator takes the silence on the phone as his queue: “…and you can call me if you have questions.”
Americana: “Okay, um, all of that sort of makes sense, and we will call if needed. What is your number?”
Administrator: “Well, I'm actually new to this office, so I don’t have a phone yet.”
AHHHHHHHHH!!! No clumps of hair left to pull out, with complete baldness guaranteed any day now!
And we’ll then try to schedule an appointment with an alopecia specialist, only to be told we can’t get an appointment without first filling out another white form, for which we'll first need to see the doctor.