No giudice di pace

Last night my friend Sarah called me to ask me to accompany her to the corte d'appello (court of appeal) while she went before the giudice di pace (Justice of the Peace) to appeal her case. Because she has a 10-month-old baby and could easily be distracted, she wanted someone who would listen along with her in case something went amiss.

We scheduled to meet at her apartment at 8:30 a.m. On the way there, I noticed that one of my favorite pasticcerie (pastry shops) in via dei Neri had American-style donuts in the window that were covered with white, chocolate, and a bright pink frosting. I bought one for each of us and headed to Sarah's apartment.

We walked through a few back streets to avoid the crowds and then passed in front of the Duomo. We strolled down via Ricasoli and ended up walking in front of the Accademia as well just before crossing Piazza San Marco.

The corte d'appello is on a street a few blocks past Piazza LibertÓ. Because we arrived a little early, we popped into a bar to get a cappuccino. Everyone was mesmerized by Sarah's baby because he was so cute and bravo (good).

We arrived right on time at the corte d'appello and headed inside to ask the woman at the reception (reception desk) where to go. The minute Sarah said the name of the giudice di pace, the woman whipped out a piece of paper that read that he wasn't going to be there today.

She told us to go to an office on the third floor and talk to them. While we were in the elevator a woman who works at the corte d'appello told us that the offices don't open until 10 a.m., which was a half hour later.

We decided to stand in front of the office anyway, hoping that they'd help us sooner because we were with Sarah's baby. The woman from the office, said "Arrivo. (I'm coming.)", as she ran into the office across the hall.

When she came back out, she told us was that the office doesn't open until 10 a.m. Sarah pulled out her letter and said, "Ho un'udienza con il giudice T. (I have an appointment with judge T.)" If there's one thing, we've both learned here it's you have to ask anyway when the person you need to speak to is there. The woman was cooing her baby when she said, "Non c'Ŕ oggi. Devi aspettare una nostra lettera per la prossima udienza. Te la mandiamo noi. (He's not here today. You have to wait for a letter from us about the next hearing. We'll send it to you.)

The woman was quite cheery as she talked to us while still keeping her eyes glued on the baby.

We walked all the way back home as it was sprinkling lightly. I decided to push the carrozzina (baby stroller) along some of the bumpy sidewalks, which at times were treacherous. We changed our route a little bit and went through Piazza Santissima Annunziata, down via dei Servi and behind the Duomo to go back to Sarah's place.

Sarah invited me up for tea so that we could finally eat our donuts. We had wanted to stop in Piazza Savonarola to eat them, but the rain deterred us. Neither one of us was upset about our trip to the corte d'appello because we both know that sometimes things like this happen. Although Sarah felt bad about my wasting two hours this morning, but after biting into our donuts, which neither one of us has had in years, we both forgot all about our long and unproductive walk.

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