Another day at the hospital: the queue to get files is always the most curious. It’s a seated queue, and every now and then, you shuffle along a few seats. It’s like a very slow game of musical chairs: it takes about two hours.
In a ‘line’ of fifty souls, there were just four books in evidence (counting mine). A woman with a ‘phuza’ face (booze face) pored over the popular tabloid, ‘Die Son’. An old lady crocheted something frilly in lilac and a young man messed about with his cell phone. The rest just waited.
The man next to me was wearing short pants, sandals, T-shirt and a woolly balaclava hat pulled down over his face so that only his eyes showed. There were burns on his arms, some quite nasty. A bad smell emanated from him. I don’t want to know what he was hiding under that hat.
On my other side was a neat, young makhoti (Xhosa married woman) who smelled of soap. I leaned towards her to breathe in the clean scent in an attempt to banish the odour of putrification.
Once I had my file, I recklessly blew R20 on a toasted sandwich and a cool drink (not beer, worst luck) at the hospital cafeteria with its stainless steel, operating-theatre-like tables and hospital-green plastic chairs. Thus fortified (it’s amazing what courage one can draw from a cheese and tom sannie) I proceeded to the outpatients’ consulting rooms.
There was another long wait, and then the nurse called me in for my test results. It was the Cuban doctor again. We have lots of them in our hospitals.
Our South African doctors love to emigrate, so we get Cubans to take their places. I don’t know whom the Cubans get to replace them in turn. He was brisk and professional, he didn’t smell of coconuts or have a cigar. I didn’t have to have any bits looked into, which was nice for a change.
Upshot is, they’re pretty sure they’ve got me in good time - just a routine hysterectomy in March and everything will be beer and skittles again. I’m very happy with this. I suppose I will be less happy with it on the day and for some days thereafter, and especially when I get my bill, but that’s okay too.
Todays pic: clear horizons and time for reflection (Phew, that was imaginative)