by Melinda Gallo

Sala d'attesa

Today I went to see my dottoressa (doctor) again to ask her a few questions. I arrived at the door of her studio (office) and there was alreaady a couple waiting outside. The women I walked past downstairs were waiting as well to see the dottoressa. A blonde woman asked each of us, "Quando è il suo appuntamento?" (When is your appointment?) After we all responded, the blonde woman told us the order in which we will see the dottoressa. I ended up being the second to the last before the blonde woman.

The dottoressa arrived to find the six of us plus a rappresentante (sales representative) for a pharmaceutical company waiting for her in the sala d'attesa (waiting room). After the dottoressa took the couple into her studio, the blonde woman asked me again, "Quando è il suo appuntamento?" I repeated my previous answer, "Alle 16.30." Then, she asked me, "Cosa deve fare Lei? Una visita?" (What do you need to do? An examination?)

"Devo solo parlare con la dottoressa." (I only have to talk with the doctor) I told her. "Meno male. Io non voglio starci fino alle 19!" (Thank goodness. I don't want to stay here until 7PM!)

The blonde woman went on to tell the older woman next to her and me all about her visita with her dermatologo (dermatologist) this morning. She pulled out every item she bought at the farmacia (pharmacy) that was prescribed to her and explained what each one was for.

After the couple left the studio, the older woman next to the blonde woman dashed for the door to see the dottoressa. The blonde woman said to me, "Lei ci starà tanto tempo. È da due anni che non fa una visita." (She will be there for a long time. It's been two years since she had an examination.)

She looked again at her watch and said, "Non vado via prima delle 19." (I'm not leaving before 7PM.) I almost wanted to tell her to go in before me, but I knew I wasn't going to be long at all, and I wasn't sure that her appointment would be that short either.

A young mother in the hallway came to talk to us as well before she went to see the dottoressa. When she left for her appointment, the blonde woman told me that the young mother will certainly be quick because she has to go pick up her daughter at the piscina (pool) shortly.

After about 20 minutes, the blonde woman said, "Cosa ci fa lì dentro?" (What is she doing in there?) I shrugged my shoulders and said, "Boh." I assume that a doctor's appointment is at least half an hour, so I wasn't too worried.

Another 15 minutes went by with the blonde woman telling me more and more about her life. At one point, we couldn't hear them speak and the blonde woman said, "Parlano basso." (They're speaking quietly.) She stood up and tiptoed to the hallway to see if she could hear them speaking. All my fears of people eavesdropping when I went to see the dottoressa were suddenly confirmed.

Luckily after another 15 minutes of the blonde woman complaining about how long the young mother was spending with the dottoressa, she finally walked out. Before she left, she told us that she too hadn't had a visita in at least a year.

When it was my turn to talk to the dottoressa, I reassured the blonde woman that I'd only be 15 minutes. And, when I spoke to the dottoressa, I did so as quietly as possible.

After my visita, I said good-bye to the blonde woman by saying, "ArrivederLa." I normally would've said "Arrivederci," but she mi dava del Lei (used the formal you) the entire time. I wanted to tell her that I hope she feels better, but she ran into the studio to see the dottoressa before I could get the words out.

Share your comments for this blog post on the Living in Florence's Facebook page. Grazie!