continued from here.
We walked upstairs and found a swarm of people, all a little lost and confused. There were a few different offices, many glass windows with lines of people waiting. Which office? Which line? There were signs here, but so many of them that they don't make sense.
We walked around looking for some sort of help. Bel fidanzato was still angry and spotted a security guard surrounded by people. He, it seemed, was the information man (short staffed, you know how it is.) We marched up and bel fidanzato tells him that the service at the hospital is ridiculous, that they need an information booth. But there is one down by the entrance, says the man. But it's closed, hissed bel fidanzato. I tugged on his arm. I was hot, tired and hungry and just wanted to get rid of another vial of blood. The security guard/information man looked at our form and told us we had to exit the building, cross the road and enter a totally different building! Bel fidanzato challenged him, warned him that he better not be lying to us as he is sick of getting wrong information.
It is late morning by this stage. We had been walking around for hours, the sun was beating onto our backs as we crossed the road, walked up a really steep driveway and entered one of these buildings. As usual it was full of people and as usual the reception desk was empty. We walked around, eavesdropping on patients complaining that they had been here all morning. Finally I saw a man walk towards the receptionist desks and pause there for a moment. He had on a white coat so I pounced. Are we in the right place? I ask, showing him my doctors form. Yes, of course, but you are too late, the blood analysis department has closed, he responds. Too late...but it was only 10:30am.
Bel fidanzato said as calmly as possible that we had been at the hospital since 8:30am, we had been lied to, pointed in the wrong direction, and what's more I am pregnant and I have to go to Scotland for work so absolutely must have these tests done today! Miraculously this man says 'just one minute.' In just one minute he came back and told us to come with him. We were shown into an office and my situation was explained. Without another word he leaves, and I went about getting my blood done. This blood centre was surely not part of the hospital! This was too good to be true. It turns out that the security guard was not such a good information man as our doctors form should have been stamped first at the ticket office. But never mind. We can return later with that. Also the doctor told us that bel fidanzato must be tested, but he had yet to visit his doctor. Well no point coming back, said the doctor, and she wrote him out a doctors form requesting this blood test.
We both got the blood tests, I waited while bel fidanzato ran back to the ticket office, got the form stamped and then ran back to give it to this doctor.
Italy is really full of extremes....either no one helps you or people go beyond the call of duty to help. Sadly the first is more common.