Let me give you a couple of examples.
First, an unbelievably good one. March is the month of the Woman for Piemontese Health Services. All women who are registered with the National Health System over fifty receive a letter in the mail, where they are given an appointment at the local hosiptal for a mammography. That's right, the state sends you a note, you go, and they pay. This is my second time. It works like a well oiled machine. They even did a couple of extra shots this time because the tech noticed on my file that I said last year that my mother is a BC survivor.
You can say whatever you want about "socialized medicine" (I personally have been one government subsidized system or another since coming to Europe in 1994, and have to say that worrying about medical coverage has never crossed my mind in 15 years. That alone is a health saver). There might be weaknesses in medical care here, but you would be long dead or buried before anyone from a government agency in America sent you a letter to come to an appointment for a pre-paid mammography. Seriously.
Ok, and something to drive a person nuts. I have gotten three sets of bids for the construction of our project. All three are totally different, but not consistently. One is 50 percent higher on one thing, another is 100% higher on another. There is absolutely no rhyme or reason. When you ask why one price is so much higher than the competition, you get the look like you have two heads. It is driving me nuts because I don't know who to believe. I try to get an answer what a "standard price" is. My architect can help me on some things but not on others. The process of making a decision is unbelievable painful.
Another thing. I cannot seem to drive off my property without taking my life in my hands. I have had more near misses since coming to this country than ever in my 30 plus years of driving. I swear they are out to get me. People entering traffic circles by cutting me off, little old ladies walking directly in front of my car. And then there is my personal favorite. Car stopped illegally in the oncoming lane, and the cars behind it go AROUND it without looking to see if anyone is coming. Surprise, there is someone - me.
One more. Tuesday we had gale force winds. You could not go outside and stand up straight. Our neighbor, clearly a rocket scientist, seemed to think it was the perfect day to burn a pile of dead branches. On the border of our property. Two hours later, three fire trucks were here, putting out 20 foot flames. The fire had just missed jumping over to our woods. I saw our neighbor over there flailing his arms around in front of a fireman as if to say "I have no IDEA what happened". Then of course, there was the matter of the six tires he put into the fire, which, even in Italy is totally illegal. He's getting a massive fine. Franco, our neighbor and guru, was so worked up I thought he would have a heart attack.
Oh. I just had to leave and come back. One of the guys who gave us a bid came back and asked if he could make a copy of the bid he gave us because he forgot to make a copy for himself. Makes you wonder if you want him high on a piece of scaffolding on your property, doesn't it? Time to break open some wine....