Tuesday, January 20, 2009

One Week to Go (well, less, but who's counting?)

The feeling that I’m leaving still hasn’t sunken in. That’s probably because, with less than a week to go, I don’t have much diversion from the activities I normally do when at home. I still walk the dogs, vacuum the house, watch TV, talk with friends, and eat quick (and probably unhealthy) lunches. The only difference is that now, for about ten minutes or less a day, I stick something else in my suitcase to pack. Not much has changed yet, and so perhaps that makes it more difficult for me to say, “Ah, that’s right, I’m about to leave!”

One of the most difficult things about packing, for me at least, are the packing of hygienic and medicinal stuff. Because any prescription orders can’t transfer to other countries, I needed to get three or four months worth of any medication while I’m here. Not only do I have to get 3 refills at once – a difficult and bureaucratic task in itself – but, since I don’t live in Nashville, I had to transfer the order to a Huntsville pharmacy, where I could pick it up.

After what felt like three hours on the phone talking with various clinic clerks and pharmacists, I managed to get the order transferred to a pharmacy at a local grocery store, so I drove quickly there and headed to the pharmacy section, said my name and my prescription order, and waited while she typed it up to send it in. After a few minutes, however, the pharmacist came back to me, telling me that I needed to give my information again to verify.

“I just need your doctor’s name from Vanderbilt.”

“Oh, it’s Wilford,” I responded helpfully.

“Okay…” she said as she typed it in, then a perplexed look came on her face. “Sorry, there’s no Wilkor in the directory.”

Now, she was about ten feet away, so I forgave her and just repeated it. “No, no, it’s Wilford, with an f.”

She gave an “Ah, I got it now,” look, and typed it back in. She frowned again. “No, there’s no Wilson here either.” Fortunately, she was looking at the phone, then, so she didn’t see my utterly exasperated look. “I’ll just call up the clinic and see if I can find the name.” So I sat down in the waiting area – a tiny space with four chairs, some ladies’ magazines, and Dr. Phil on TV. Imagine my joy.

She came back after ten minutes, wrote down an order, and said to me like in a very victorious way, “It turns out it’s Wilford, with an F-O-R-D.” I decided not to correct her – why not let her have that little victory?

Unfortunately for you readers (and for me) that’s been the most exciting part of my week.

I’ve been trying to pre-assimilate into the Italian culture for the past few days. I’ve watched some soccer clips on the Internet, news feeds, and the like. For the most part I don’t understand what they’re saying, but I can get the gist of it most of the time, which is a good thing. It does seem that, in their TV programming, the Italians have been very crafty in culling any and all ugly people from the television screen. Watching TV in Italy must be like staring at a moving fashion ad for a good half hour. I’ve also started listening to some of the music that’s popular right now, and I’ve got to say, I think I like it. One woman, Giusy Ferreri, sounds a bit like Amy Winehouse, but without the odd makeup and crack addiction, so, you know, good for her.

And so, with a week to go, I’ll write back after I meet up with my friends again this weekend. This time, I’ll bring my camera, and that way I can get some good pictures in before I head out.

PS – The inauguration ceremony today was pretty legitimate, I think. Although I know not everyone voted for him (I did, but I’m pretty sure everyone could figure that out), the ceremony was very nice, and seeing all those people out on the National Mall was pretty astounding. It was pretty cool to watch a good bit of history in the making, regardless of your political leanings. So congrats, Obama -- I'm pretty excited.


  1. hahaha "One woman, Giusy Ferreri, sounds a bit like Amy Winehouse, but without the odd makeup and crack addiction, so, you know, good for her."

    looking forward to reading Chronicles of Charlie in Italia! (alternative blog title? jk) :)