Unlike Bung Bunga Berlusconi who faces being expelled from Parliament tonight and  whose expulsion will be followed by the probable fall of the coalition government. I, in contrast, have had one of those very superb Italian days when living here seems easy and satisfyingly worthwhile.

I awoke this morning still troubled with some kind of growth under my tongue. I had given it the salt treatment but to no avail. By carefully positioning the mirror alongside this computer I was finally able to compare on-line photos with my own open mouth. Now I am not an hypochondriac though Geraldine has definitely serious doubts but it was evident from my comparisons that mine exactly matched the mouth cancer pictures on-line. I began immediately to put my affairs in order and started to feel suitably ill as well. As my wife seems to have all the passwords for banks etc it didn’t take me long to put the affairs right as she has never told me any of the codes.

By 11 a.m. and after I had spent a further hour in front of various mirrors in the house noting how it was growing with each visit she ordered me to the car and to the dentist.  Blow two was the tyre on the car was down again after I had put air in it yesterday. So on the way to dentist I manfully and dare I say bravely offered to have the tyre repaired en route to the dentist where we had no appointment. My reasoning was, team, sound. How could she visit me in hospital and weep by the bedside as I slowly slipped away if she had no vehicle. Summon the children  I said as we drove into the garage.

It wasn’t the tyre but the wheel rim that had little air bubbles coming up through the water when they submerged the wheel in a barrel of water. Now in the UK in my experience this is normally when the tyre guy sucks on his teeth and tuts knowingly whilst looking suitably contrite that he is about to clean out your bank account. The Italian guy just said problema. How much for a new wheel I asked . €300, he said, but you don’t want a new wheel, why pay that kind of money ? I can solder this for you with some new aluminum and it will be like new again . How much I asked. €50 max he said. I do love Italians. Here is an innocent abroad concerning motor cars ( me) offering to buy a new wheel and the tyre repair guy is saying don’t waste your money. I would have kissed him but hey I had mouth problems.

So to the dentist.

I mumbled to the receptionist/nurse that I had a growth under my tongue. She seemed to understand my Italian far better than in past when she cleans my teeth and I felt better that at least I would be able to get food in what ever hospital I would be in later today. The doctor is here today (only qualified doctors can become full dentists in Italy the others are just hygienists). Let me see if he will see you rather than having to make an appointment. I tried to explain I wouldn’t be here tomorrow but she walked off.

Minutes later the Doc was peering into my mouth . It is very agitato ( swollen) he said . How serious is it Doc I asked I can take bad news. It is a mouth ulcer he said nothing to worry about get some bonjela and dab it on. Salt I asked . Mamma mia no that will make it agitato . Oh, I thought, better not mention my self treatment. How much I asked realising that in the UK this would be an emergency appointment. He looked offended nothing please he said and shook my hand before walking off.

In the waiting room Geraldine did not look like a wife who was expecting to have heard ambulance sirens within seconds in fact she was reading a magazine . What was it, a mouth ulcer, she asked. Know all.



About hereinpuglia

Retired to Puglia after some 40 years in the travel industry working for P&O Lines, British Airways, Alamo rent-a-car,Abercrombie&Kent, owner of Quest Tours and Travel and finally with Thomas Cook North America. Married to Geraldine we now have a small house with too much land near the town of Martina Franca in Puglia. Two kids one married and living in Hong Kong and the other single and living in London. No dogs, no cats no animals.
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