Learning Italian: At the Gynecologist

Continuing on from the super successful post on Learning Italian: You said what?, I thought it only fair to share another one of my embarrassing moments from my expat life Sardinia. This story involves vagina’s and doctors, so if you are easily offended I suggest you click here and if you’re one of the millions of weirdo’s who gets giggles out of others’ follies then, by all means, please read on.

At the Gynecologist the first time:

We had just driven an hour into Sassari and we were lost. All the buildings looked the same, they looked like pale, sick apartment buildings not a doctor’s office, there wasn’t even a sign. A young woman came walking down the street and stops in front of us “Lèi e Jennifer?” With a rather perplexed look on my face, I nodded yes. “Sono dottoressa Venere.”

I followed her into the cold, dusty archway and whispered to my husband “This is a little weird.” He nodded and continued on my heel.

Dr. Venere opened an ancient wooden door to reveal a small apartment turned into a gynaecologist office: one tiny bathroom, one bedroom and a living room/waiting room, it felt like I was in the doctor’s apartment. The red sofa stood out against the white walls in the waiting room and she said to my husband “Lei signore resta qui.” Dr Venere pointed to the luscious sofa and gave my husband a wink. Yes, a wink! I decided to ignore it.

She gestured for me to follow her and I obeyed her stern look. She opened her bedroom door and in place of a bed was a canary yellow gynaecological examination table complete with remote control and pillow.

Togliti i pantaloni e sedersi lì.” Say what? What she say? I’d only been in Italy for a year and my grasp on the Italian language consisted of: Io, pasta, pizza, ciao, mi piace, tu and spagetti. The examination table reminded me of Big Bird and I was scared.

Pantaloni. Pants? Yes, she wanted me to take off my pants, right! She can’t check out my vagina if my pants are on, why isn’t she leaving the room?

The doctors in Canada leave the room when a patient gets naked and provides a lovely, white paper robe. I gathered enough courage to ask her “un vesitito? one dress?” as I pointed to the recyclable white paper adorning the yellow chair.

She looked at me quizzically, pointed her pen at my waist and motioned for me to remove my pants and sit down as the procedure was about to begin.

Santorini, Greece 2005 by Jennifer AvventuraI was mortified.

How could I do this without a dressing gown? I’ve never done it without a dressing gown! WAH! Cue internal freak-out and escape plan.

She was staring at me, I was staring at her, and the Big Bird chair was staring at my vagina. Somebody help me!

I did what I always do in situations like this – throw caution to the wind and just do it. After all, this is Italy, and I learned a new word that day: pantaloni = pants.

Are you an expat? What was different on your first visit to the doctors?

Stay tuned for more horror stories from the gynecologist’s office.

© My Sardinian Life/Jennifer Avventura. All rights reserved 2010-2017. All pictures, unless otherwise stated, are property of My Sardinian Life. Do not use without written permission.