Please put your teeth in.

Visiting my doctor always fills me with joy,

Today there is a new notice on the door for me to try to translate.

Quickly I ran through the days of the week and worked out today is Giovedì, wonderful the good doctor has yet again changed his surgery days.

Just as I was about to leave I decided to ask an old guy if the doctor was coming this morning.

Although my Italian is not progressing as fast as Mrs Sensible would like, I can normally have a simple conversation with the natives. If we are discussing wine, all the better.

Today’s conversation was a little more challenging, the man in the waiting room was not wearing his gnashers!

Please put your gnashers in

He gummed his way through a sentence and I squinted and furrowed my brow in a pitiful attempt to understand him.

It took three attempts before I understood.

My question was.

Is the doctor here today?

And his response was.

You used to live in our village, why don’t you change doctors, or isn’t there a doctor in your new village?

I tried to explain that changing doctors is way too complicated and we like our doctor.

Lord help me to understand him

And then a woman appeared and joined in our conversation, as you can see, she was also struggling to understand my new friend.

Between us, we worked out the new sign wasn’t important and the doctor would arrive at 10:30 The time now is 9:00.

As I have some time to kill, let me share one of our doctors favourite notices.

Underlined in pink, orange and green

Twenty minutes before the surgery is due to close, the doctor counts how many patients he needs to see and then he locks the front door to stop any more patients from entering the waiting room.

This normally works, unless the person outside has a friend inside who will quickly and quietly unlock the door and let him in.

The next time the doctor enters the waiting room there will be a sea of innocent faces and one new patient who appears to be studying his shoes. To date I have never seen our doctor confront the new patient or complain, he just sighs and re locks the door.

Thursday evenings surgery is only for people who work and can’t visit during during normal surgery hours.

A couple of months ago there was a little dispute between the patients when on a Thursday evening a non worker was sat with us workers.

You don’t work!

My wife does!

But she isn’t here.

Obviously she isn’t here, because I am.

But you don’t work, why don’t you come in the morning, Thursday evening is for people who have to go to work.

Because I want a new prescription for my wife and she does work so I am here.

There was a little logic in his reasoning, nobody was happy about a non worker sharing the surgery with us, even if his wife did work.

Oh, on a final note a friend of mine has started going to night school to improve her Italian and she has hinted once or twice ‘normally when Mrs Sensible is within earshot’, that I should also go.

So far I have managed to avoid joining the night class, but I think it is only a matter of time before I end up sitting at the back of the class waiting for the lesson to finish.

12 thoughts on “Please put your teeth in.

  1. I’m in a similar situation to you except our doctor isn’t ….well let’s just put it like this: I’ve always maintained that a good chemist is better than a bad doctor any day of the week….and I’m on the lookout for a good chemist.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, and another thing. My Italian wife, who is a fabulous cook and spends her days as most Italians do, meandering on about food and recipes and the easy ways of preparing them which all sound to me like intricate hard work, has never heard of a banana sandwich…well fancy that.
      I can tell you that I was shocked and stunned and not a little amazed!


  2. Living in Italy certainty has its challenges and it looks like language and time are the most frustrating of all. Reading your accounts of the cultural atmosphere has me shaking my head and wondering how anyone gets to see a physician or accomplish anything that is important without losing ones mind. Honestly, I admire your agility to navigate the system where the natives move at a pace that is so foreign to someone from a country that moves to a different set of drums. I don’t think I could survive the slow -pace of Italians but on the other hand maybe their way of living has many positive aspects for better health.


  3. Sorry – Guess it’s a English/English language barrier. 🙂 Is surgery an appointment to see the doctor or something where they operate? I’m hoping you’re not all sitting there waiting for the doctor to cut you open or something.

    Liked by 1 person

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