We had already visited the hospital the day before. It had been a boiling hot spring day. Malito is hot but Cosenza is always about 5 degrees hotter. After taking 3 vials of my blood we drove to the hospital and set about getting some information. The information box at the boom gates had a big, black line through the word
That night we asked advice about the location of this random blood testing place. We needed to enter the hospital, turn right, walk, go down the stairs, but not those stairs, go left, right, back, forth, upside down...you get the drift. So the next day, nice and early, we entered the hospital grounds. We tried to follow the random directions we had been given the night before and found a building adjacent to the hospital full of people. Bel fidanzato asked a member of staff, showed her our doctors slip and she told us to continue into this jam packed building. People were spilling outside, there were (as to be expected) no signs, no information, nothing. So after sending me to sit outside in the only small patch of shade I could find, bel fidanzato headed inside. I was confronted by an old woman who wanted to know my life history, and thankfully bel fidanzato came back to me before to long. He had a ticket in his hand. We would have to wait. There were a lot of people in front of us.
Looking around we noticed that the only people waiting were old, really old. There was not one youngish, slightly pregnant looking person in sight. Hmmm... Another hospital employee was accosted, and he said, no this was not the place at all and we had to go into the hospital and to the ticket booth!
Here in Italy you have to go to the ticket office before visiting the doctor/getting blood tests etc...You give them your doctors slip and then you pay/don't pay depending on your financial situation/what you are getting done. You get a stamp on your doctors form and then are free to go and get what ever done.
Now, when I say bel fidanzato is a calm man, I mean he is really the calmest person in the world...but he now had his newly pregnant partner by his side and had been to the hospital not once but twice in two days, so his calm hat had been tossed to the side. We walked into the hospital building and found signs pointing to the ticket office. Great! We walked, and walked, down corridors, walked for what felt like miles when suddenly the signs ended and we were no where. Literally, we were in a blank, empty corridor which was in the process of having building work done.
We back tracked, I silently following bel fidanzato, not daring to utter a word, not sure whether to laugh or cry. A poor hospital employee happened to cross our path and bel fidanzato all but grabbed him by his collar. He angrily demands help. This man went to walk off, but bel fidanzato blocked his path. He explained that we had been here all morning, people had told us repeatedly the wrong information, his partner is pregnant and we need help. This kind man, seeing our frustration, gave us directions on how to reach the new ticket office which has been moved up stairs (ah, so no one has moved the old signs.) Oh, but the journey does not end there. Oh no...to be continued....