August 3, 2008

August ghost town

In addition, I could tell that the doctor was a little thrown by my tumor-ridden family history so maybe she was being unusually aggressive. My mom had fought off breast cancer successfully but her mother had not, my older sister had died of thyroid cancer, and two aunts had also died of cancer. Nando’s diabetes has nothing genetically to do with me but it loomed in the background as well.

The upshot: I went to the hospital to schedule my tests last week, and that was easier than expected. It’s the height of summer, so few people were around. In Northern Italy, people exit by the millions in July and August. It is normal to have four weeks of vacation and by god everyone wants to take it at the same time, so they can be just as crowded at the beach in summer as they are in the city in winter. Shops close in August and bustling cities take on the appearance of ghost towns. I went to the hospital at 1:30 pm, just before they opened for the afternoon. Consequently I didn’t have to wait long in the appointment line, and there weren’t many people to make appointments anyway.