ALL IN A DAY’S WORK: PELICANS, A BANK AND CHINESE GLOVES
I had some errands to run today in Vatican City and it turned out to be an interesting experience.
I took the following photos as I crossed St. Peter’s Square:
So where is everybody?
Actually, the line to visit St. Peter’s is not bad – masks, social distancing…
Are we having fun yet?
My first stop was the bank. I discovered that now we all have to make an appointment for most transactions and I was given a piece of paper with an email address. I wrote the bank and was sent some forms to fill out and return to them by taking photos of the forms with my cell phone and attaching those to the email. There is, of course, an ATM machine (called bancomat here) so money can be withdrawn without all the above rigamarole. However, if you need any other service, there is now this procedure to go through! What I needed to do would have personally taken maybe 6 minutes inside the bank! Fallout from Covid19, I imagine.
My next stop was the Vatican pharmacy. I chose to run my errands at what would normally be the Italian lunch hour because, over these last months, I have discovered those were the hours of almost no lines at supermarkets, etc, because Italians were at home having lunch!
The Vatican pharmacy has actually been under remodel for quite some time but a temporary pharmacy has been set up outside the medical building. In just minutes I was inside and got what I needed, including (finally) a box of 100 pairs of vinyl gloves….made in China!
You might recall reading the news in April that Chinese Bishops, Catholic faithful, the Hebei Jinde foundation, among others donated medical supplies, including masks gloves and ventilators, to the Vatican. The gesture was a thank-you for the 600,00 marks sent by the Pope in March as a gift from the Holy See and the Chinese Christian communities in Italy.
So it seems I am one of the recipients of the gloves arriving from Chinese bishops and faithful! Thank you! 谢谢 Xiexie (pronounced shay shay)
The saddest part of my time in and around Vatican City was trying to find an open restaurant or coffee bar to have a bite to eat. Streets normally filled with tourists were deserted – bars closed, restaurants dark. Finally, after a few blocks walk, I saw one coffee bar and, a few blocks from that at Pza. Risorgimento, a small restaurant open with tables outdoors.