In search of a new prescription, I went to the health centre this morning and was given an appointment with the doctor at 15.14 this afternoon. Yes, 15.14. I have no idea why this exact but odd time. The doctor started his session at 15.00 and I turned out to be number 7 on his list. Does this mean we were each allocated 2 minutes with the doctor? If so, things got off to a bad start, as his first patient was with him for half an hour. By the time he got to me, he was running almost an hour late.
So I had plenty of time to make societal observations. The first of these was that there was only one person out of twenty passing the time by reading. Guess who? There were two reasons for this – firstly, no one other than me had brought anything to read. And, secondly, there was nothing to read in the clinic. Which is in sharp contrast to that of my doctor in Leeds, which is awash with magazines. So, what did everybody do to pass the time? Well, they stared into space or they talked to the person they'd come with. Or, in the case of one woman, answered 10 calls on her (astonishingly loud) phone. What was fascinating was how the hubbub of noise died down to absolute silence each time the door opened and a patient came out. This was because 'our' doctor remained sitting in his room and called out the name of his next patient. Not particularly loudly, it has to be said.
Not all the doctors did this. A lady doctor came out of her office each time, to reel off the names of four or five patients. Surprisingly – at least to a foreigner – it was clear two of three of them hadn't turned up. Anyway, when my name was finally called, I stood up and suddenly found I only had one functioning leg. The second had gone to sleep. A truly deep sleep. I lurched against the wall and tried to shake and kick my limb out of its torpor. No go. Conscious that the doctor was soon going be calling someone else, I tried the leg and found it believed it belonged to a cripple. By this time, I had 20 pairs of eyes on me. And murmurings, I hoped, of sympathy. Then came the doctor's summons for the next patient and the poor woman looked hopelessly lost as to what to do. So, I stumbled forward – along the wall – and fell into the chair opposite the doctor. Where I was bollocked for not bringing him copies of the blood tests I'd had a couple of months ago. And told to make another bloody appointment. The good news is that I did get my new prescription.
As I'd gone into the room as someone with the use of only one and a quarter legs, it was no surprise to hear a gasp of surprise as I came out and walked normally to the reception desk. I guess most of them were wondering what the hell the doctor had injected me with.
I wonder what Monday's appointment will bring. Must remember not to keep my legs crossed while I'm waiting. And to take a book.
Finally . . . Down south, the police have arrested a driver doing 120kph in an 80 zone with a man sitting on his bonnet(hood). They also arrested the 'passenger'. One wonders what he'll be charged with.