by Lisa Pisani
This week I take on the health system e.g.; green passes and prescription medications, as well as shopping for furniture, and interacting with my lovely Italian neighbors. Some of my efforts came to fruition – others not so much – as I “waded” through our notorious Italian burocrazia (which, incidentally, is much easier to spell in Italian than in English so henceforth the Italian spelling shall be deployed.) If I try to spell it in English it looks something like this: bur beur buero.. beurocrasia… buerocracy…beuourcracy BUEROCRAYCREY.
Grab your favorite cup of tea or brew some coffee or reach for that gallon or 3.78 liter of wine, whatever suits you best in these trying times, and, let’s go!
un giorno nella vita italiana
As some may have fathomed from prior writings I like to get things done. And of course, Italy is in no hurry to assist me in my intrepid endeavors yet, alas, I carry on!
- My sweet elderly neighbor, Tonina and Pane / Bread
So yesterday I was headed to the Azienda Toscana Nel Sud in person, because I’ve a bee in my bonnet over obtaining that ever so elusive green pass. Forza!
Anyway, it’s raining and my elderly neighbor, Tonina catches me as I’m headed out and asks if I’ll pick her up some pane/ bread. She asks me where I’m going and requests that I grab her the pane on my way back and then asks me when I’ll be back? I told her, don’t worry I’ll do it now. She is hard of hearing, so I don’t know if she heard me but I hugged her and said, faccio subito and walked up the street to fetch her pane. I returned straight away and she was joyful. She tried to pay me but I said no, that I made a present for her and not to worry. They brought her husband home from the hospital so she must have a lot on her plate right now. She was upset and said next time I pay, ok? and I said ok. And we hugged each other and she said to me, you are always dear to me tesora. I said the same and headed out. I enjoy communicating with her, she speaks no English, and I’m a bit rubbish in the self-confidence department so it’s a nice boost that we communicate with no problem.
- Medicines and Green Passes
Next. On the way to the Azienda to request the green pass in person, like a boss, I stopped at a Dr. Max farmacia down the street from me to, 1. Ask them for a green pass and 2. To inquire about filling prescription medication. No green pass, because I don’t have a health card yet, he explained, however he/ the farmacista was sooo nice. The only “difficulty” was that he was very tall and very handsome and I do not remember a word I said to him or what language it was in. Was it Tagalog? I don’t speak Tagalog (not that I am aware of.) How did he understand me? At any rate, this may be helpful to some of you: so I showed him my residency paper, my driver’s license, and I brought with me a note that I asked my doctor in US to write that states the medicines I take with his signature on it. He said he’d fill the scrips! One is on order and should arrive today or tomorrow. And he handed me the other one, no problem, at a cost of 3€ and 73 cents.
And not sure if he’s allowed to do all that, but he did.
Dr. Max in Siena! 😀
Side note: if you are coming to Italy from another country ( or traveling out of your home country, really) ask your doctor before you leave, to sign a letter that lists your medications and / or conditions. That paper is what the farmacista looked at the most. He only glanced over my residency paper from the comune.
Feeling deeply inspired after this encounter, FORZA! I headed to the Azienda with dreams of green passes floating in my head. Green passes that I can print with my new HP printer. Even the printer is excited to print my green pass. We are so ready for the green pass!
Alas. After a brief and uneventful encounter with the two people behind a sportello / window at the Azienda I was handed a piece of paper with an email addy and phone number and the direction to use them and of course with the promises of a Green Pass and no problem. So whilst in the area slightly defeated yet undaunted, FORZA! I notice two farmicia. And for giggles? Or to further frustrate myself, or because one can dream …I’m not sure…I decided to go into those farmacie and ask them to make the pass. The first one says no, we can’t do that but that farmacia over there? yes absolutely they will do it no problem. I thank them and walk over to this other farmacia where after standing in the queue I’m met with yet another “I want to help you so much” farmcista who tells me, no I can’t make you one, go to the Azienda.
Let’s recapitulate for a second: in one day and in the space of an hour I’d traveled to 3 farmacie, and the Azienda itself. Go here. Go there. No, Noooo go over THERE they will help you. And you always get this face from the person that is supposed to know what they are doing. Indeed, it is a face that wants to help you. It is a face that desires your success more than you do!
Well. I got my scripts sorted so I headed back to my apartment to draft a long and tedious email to the Azienda per their instructions and then to upload for the 4th time all my vaccination information online.
Maybe I’ll hear from them. Maybe I won’t.
- The furniture store 🏬
I’ve no place to sit comfortably in my rented apartment (bed, yes, could be used for sitting and kitchen table with chairs) but I love to read and I stretch as well, because I have some ongoing issues with injuries I’ve had over the years so being comfortable is not easy to begin with. Yet since this place has no couch or comfy chair I thought I’d find something for it. ☺
Indeed, I found a beautiful small couch and comfy chair combo of sorts and at an enormous sconto/ discount, because it’s the floor model.
However, they can’t deliver it till mid-march, because it has to stay on the floor for others to potentially order it.
I understand the logic but I’ll have to wait a month. However, it is super comfy and worth waiting for.
In sum: these are just a few up close and personal views of a week in Italy and I do hope you’ve discovered something in my experiences that answers some questions or perhaps even better, leads you to consider things you’d not thought of before. Until next week!
Are you thinking about moving to Italy or have you already done it? I want to hear all about it!!
Brava!!!! Che coraggio! You are doing wonderfully.
Some questions: what is the name of the furniture store?
How well do you speak Italian?
How excited are you??? I’m excited FOR you
Thank you for reading my post and reaching out!
The name of the furniture store is Poltrone’sofa’ here is a link to their website.
I found mine in Siena, but they have locations around Italy.
As for Italian speak it well enough, in that I’ve not had problems communicating. The people here tell me how well I speak, but b/c I’m fluent in other languages I have a lot of problems with the Italian grammar. I actually found a language university here that i signed up for. I start next week!
I am very happy to be here. Thank you for being excited for me! I’ve encountered, along the way, people that are NOT supportive of my goals and it is very important to surround yourself with people that give a true and honest vibe and are happy for you.
If you have more questions don’t hesitate to ask!