Having been ill for almost a week now, I decided this morning that it was time to drag myself to the local health office, choose a local doctor and make an appointment. I finally sorted out my residency last month and the only thing standing in my way was the lack of desire to go through one of those typical public health office experiences which tend to take hours and raise your blood pressure enough that you really do need healthcare by the end of it all. However, it appears that the bureaucracy gods were smiling this morning (or at the least were on a coffee break) and I had one of the most pain-free experiences I can remember. Now I think about it, I have actually visited that office once before and the person who dealt with me was helpful and friendly, but I put it down to luck on that occasion. This morning I arrived, found a parking space directly outside in the free carpark(!), and had only 1 person ahead of me in the queue. The staff were not just helpful and friendly, but efficient, informed, polite and professional. In 10 minutes flat I had registered for a health card, chosen a nearby doctor and even made an appointment for this afternoon. What can I say? Ufficio Scelta e Revoca, 1st floor, ASL in Via Bassini, Milan: GOLD STAR FOR YOU!!