At my last appointment, my doctor had told me I needed a routine blood test. In an American doctor's office, this involves an assistant pulling out a needle, me pulling out my arm, and that's that. But in Italy that kind of thing would involve far too few bureaucrats, so the Central Government has fixed the problem by creating a centralised process for any and all blood tests.
Here, your doctor only TELLS you you need a blood test. Then she writes something illegible on a piece of paper and it is up to you to find a place that performs the test in question and, once you are there, provide gainful employment for dozens of people who will take you through the separate processes of "checking in" (after waiting in line), moving to another room and "paying," (after waiting in another line), and, finally, waiting in line at the lab itself. (There is another whole office for collecting your results...after, you know, waiting in line).
But I digress.
So today I go to get this blood test, and I make it through the first line of the day. I get up to the check-in window and the lady there says to me:
Lady There: Where is your urine container?
Self: I'm sorry?
LT: It says here that you need a urine test.
LT: So you were supposed to bring your urine. From home.
Self: (brief pause while I mentally run through my tupperware containers and dishes and decide that I am grateful I didn't know this sooner) I see. But I didn't.
LT: You'll have to buy one. From the newspaper guy.
Self: ...What newspaper guy?
LT: (looks at me like I'm the crazy one) On the corner. Outside. Across the street from the hospital.
Self: That's where I have to go to get urine cups? Isn't that a bit strange?