Exact quote is: ” No thanks…I don’t like hospital coffee…” The quote is from the movie series Dr. Martin. Season 1. Episode 6. The series was created by Dominic Minghella. Started in 2004 through 2018 which will be the last year. I’ve watched all the episodes twice- I think Martin Clunes is excellent in this British Medical Drama . A must see -if you want to laugh a lot.
I kept thinking of the coffee they served me in a Florentine hospital I was in when I got sick in 1992. I was in Florence for three months to participate in an printmaking student exchange program connected to my college. It came to me in a large bowl, almost like soup. The coffee was slightly sweet- but always lukewarm. I remember not liking it and the planter in the corner of the hospital room got a bath each morning. Memories are fuzzy but I think I stayed almost a week. I was starved when I left the premise. The food that was served was always a pasta with a dollop of tomato sauce. No fruit, no vegetables. I found it extremely unappetizing somehow this food also disappeared mysteriously. Last summer, after my appendix burst, the hospital didn’t serve me any coffee, tea or food for ten days- only clear IV’s. On the tenth day they told me to now- eat! or they wouldn’t let me go home. So I did- kind-of. I was not impressed with the food. I guess I’m a picky eater…unsure. What matters is that I survived and am able to tell you. I know they have a quote about the survival of the fittest but I truly believe that real food and coffee are a part of the healing process! So the first hospital was in South Italy in Rome on the Tiber island only 2,000 years ago. The story starts like most historic stories start- with a snake. This one slithered off a boat, landed near a temple where a man named Asclepius lived. He was the son of Apollo-the god of medicine and healing. His two daughters Panacea and Hygea promptly became healers .Unlike the stories in the blble where the snake bit Eve…there isn’t any mention of a bite in Rome. In fact, the snake was viewed differently as a source of rejuvenation. That’s why there’s a symbol of a snake wrapped around a staff logo on most ambulances. Though, in the U.S.A. the medical field uses a slightly different image of a staff entwined with two snakes with a set of wings at the top. The original descriptions of the temple was it was filled with music, sunlight and compassionate care givers. Like a spa. Then some CEO – set up a couple of franchises because all of a sudden these “ospedales” existing in Ancient Rome and Greece. Only difference was there wasn’t any mention of any exchange of money unlike today’s hospitals. There also wasn’t any distinction between the rich and not rich on receiving care which I thought was totally cool. For today’s tasty tidbit for your dinner party: The word hospital originates from the latin word “hospes” meaning guest or stranger. Important words associated with the latin word “hospes” are hospice, hostel, hotel and hospitality. Need I say more?