We are celebrating with the Italian people the election of an equal opportunity President. They are passionate about eliminating ageism and discrimination against elderly people and have therefore selected Signor Georgio Napolitano who is 87 years old for their new head of state for the next 7 years. This will give their economy the kind of boost it needs. He will be 94yrs when his term of office finishes, but he might stand for a second term.
I want to visit one of the agri-turismos where they squash the balsams to make the excellent vinegar, but my companions are against cruelty to balsams and are adopting orphan and homeless balsams to protect them, so the excursion looks a bit unlikely. Anyway, there are four levels of balsamic excellence: pure, 1 year, 10 years and 500 years which is the best, but reserved for saints. I will try to persuade them visit a refuge for abused Parmigianos, which may be more socially responsible.
Instead, as an outing, I went for an INR blood test, at Saint Orsola’s Hospital; they only do blood tests for outpatients from 7.30 to 10.00am, it cost 6 Euros and the result was given me by hand an hour and a half later. The hospital doesn’t look at all like UK hospitals with grand architectured entrances and civic amenity signage all over, they look just like blocks of flats from the street, but the efficiency is the same: queues of very elderly and sick people standing & waiting in line to be processed.
I had a fight with a couple afterwards, in the car park, where we were queuing for taxis and they took the taxi which I had telephoned. But the wife was bigger than me and the driver was not a neutral referee, so I judged discretion would be the greater part of valour, and I retreated after cussing them in English, which they could not understand.
We had tortellini in chicken broth, which was just like the old country, when uncle used to sit on the roof of the shtetl, singing mournfully all evening, and sometimes dancing a bit, but grandmother disliked that.
The pavlova was very nice with raspberries and blackberries and blueberries and a delicious creamy caramelly chewy centre. We wanted to watch TV this evening and there are 863 TV stations, but they haven’t got any programmes. It’s a mystery that the new president will doubtless sort out.