Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bacon and the swine flu

Well, Kelly's pulled through his weekend of fever, chills, moaning, and profuse sweating. He was down with the flu and didn't get out of bed for two days. I told him that if his fever got to 103 that I'd take him to the doctor, but luckily it topped out at 102.8 so no action was necessary (besides waking him up every few hours to take his temperature, wipe his sweaty head, and force him to drink the Japanese version of gatorade - Pocari Sweat). Now, of course, I'm sick, so I took myself to the doctor today. This is how the doctor works here: First you call -

Me: I'd like to see a doctor today.
Receptionist: What time?
Me: Um, one o'clock? (it was 12:15 when I called)
Receptionist: Okay, one o'clock. Bye bye!

Then you walk over to the doctor's office, which takes about five minutes. You walk in, give them your health insurance card, sit down for about thirty seconds, the doctor calls you in, checks you out, asks you what sorts of medicine you want, and you're out of his office in six minutes. Then you check out and pay 10 HK dollars (about $1.28 US), they give you all your medicines (no extra charge) and you're done. One quick stop to buy fried noodles and limeade, and you're home in 30 minutes. Amazing.

Since Kelly and I have been sick and haven't left the house in several days, we've had time to closely observe our neighbor. She's a 30-something woman, American or British, who until this point was remarkable only in the huge numbers of wine bottles she dumps in the trash every few days. Her windows are close to ours, so when she has them open we can get hints of what's going on in her place. It's been cool the past few days and she's had them open, so we now know more details about her schedule. Well, actually all we know is that every morning starts with the smell of bacon (a LOT of bacon) frying. This is closely followed by the smell of cigarettes. Then she gets quiet for a while. I can only assume that the wine drinking begins in the early afternoon. The evening is marked by the trek past our door with the bag of wine bottles. And then we just settle in and wait for tomorrow. Man, now I want some bacon.

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