Out for breakfast

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

This morning, I had to wake up early to go get a few esami di sangue (blood tests) done. I had, of course, gone to the laboratorio (laboratory) yesterday to get information before I came in for the esami di sangue. The woman told me that I had to arrive digiuno (with an empty stomach) between 7:30AM and 10AM.

I arrived at the laboratorio at 8AM. There was only one signora there besides me. I've been to this laboratorio before and usually the sala d'attesa (waiting room) is quite full. The laboratorio was closed all month until yesterday. For some reason, today the woman gave me a sconto (discount) although she didn't explain why. I just thanked her and that was it.

The infermiere (male nurse) walked around the laboratorio with his hands in latex gloves. He spoke on the phone, handled papers, and took blood from the signora who came before me without changing them. I thought that his gloves were supposed to protect me, but I realize now that they were only to protect him.

I overheard the woman at the desk helping the another signore (man) who came after me. He too had no idea that he was supposed to be digiuno before taking the esami di sangue and was sent home. I thought it was only my dottoressa (doctor) who didn't tell me how to prepare for the esami di sangue.

The infermiere called me into his room, "Venga signora." (Come madame). I sat on the chair and put my arm on the firm 4-inch rectangular pillow covered with white hospital paper.

I can never watch them take my blood and so I stared at some book in the distance to distract me. He was good at getting the needle in, but my arm hurt a little toward the end (and a little afterwards too). I think that he made me keep my hand in a fist too long, or maybe I just held my fist too tightly.

To treat myself (and to make my sore arm feel better), I went to eat breakfast at my favorite pasticceria (pastry shop) on Borgo degli Albizi. I rarely go to a bar to have colazione (breakfast) although I certainly love it.

I ordered my favorite, bombolone con crema (a raised-type donut with a cream filling), from the woman behind the counter. She handed it to me in a small napkin and I walked over to the crowded bar to find a place to stand. I ordered my caffè from the barista (bartender) by saying, "Mi fa un caffè latte bello caldo per favore." (Make me a hot caffè latte please). Within a few seconds, she placed the glass in front of me on a saucer. She made sure the sugar was handy since the bar was so busy, it'd be hard to grab around the counter to get it.

Most people standing at the bar were sipping their caffè and eating either a salty snack, like a panino (sandwich) or a pasta (pastry). It looked like most of the people at this time morning are colleghe (co-workers). Some of the guys had the same uniforms on.

I don't always pay attention to what goes on at the bar when I go because I'm usually too busy eating, drinking, or talking. So, I was surprised to notice how some people ordered different variations of their caffè. It was almost like being at Starbucks. Some people wanted a caffè macchiato tepido (espresso with a shot of warm milk) while others wanted a cappuccino senza schiuma (cappuccino without foam). And here I thought I was being difficult when I said that I wanted mine bello caldo.

Even though I had to wake up early and walk to the laboratorio on an empty stomach, I did treat myself with a delicious colazione this morning. Now I just have to wait almost a week to get my results because they're still working only half-time in August. I guess if you're sick in Italy, you just can't be in a hurry to get well.

If you have any comments, please share them on the Living in Florence's FaceBook page. Grazie!

August 2006


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