“There’s a daily withdrawal limit, so that means we get to pay only on Friday,” he told his
My mouth stuffed full of fries, I could just nod. We had just booked our flights home.
So, wads of notes crammed into my jeans, we had pizza together. That was at 1400 hours.
Got home, soaked my laundry, defrosted the shrimp, looked up the recipe for seafood pasta,
opened numerous webpages and began my earth-shaking (not! ) task of leaving comments on blogger and replying a thread on FB that keeps us together still.
Then my phone rang. It was my ex-roomie, E. “Loshi, do you have antacids?” Her voice was strained.
Me being me, I yelled down the phone , “E! When’d you get back?!” It took me three whole minutes to realise that something was wrong. I’m like that at times.
Grabbing my antacids and other meds I keep around for gastritis I ran up the 2 floors to her room.
The first thing I saw was her red round butt. Not E’s butt. P’s butt. She looked like she was doing some weird yoga pose, but in fact she was doubled over in pain in the middle of the floor.
It took 30 minutes, a cold compress to her abdomen and another two rounds of retching and puking, plus some exchanged worried glances between E, Y (the third roommate..) and I before I ran down to the djurni mama’s post to ask her to get an ambulance, leaving the other two in charge of the Emotional Department. That was 1656. I know that because I got a call right then from my ex which I not unhappily cancelled.
“Padajdite ni monoshka,” the mamachka told me and I went to sit down at the sofa in the lobby.
I waited. And waited. And waited some more. Each passing minute had me convinced that the gastritis had led to a peptic ulcer, which in turn had perforated, caused freaking sepsis and formed a bloody abcess in her brain, on a background of pain shock, of course. The paramedics here are called ‘skora pamoch’ which literally translates as ‘quick help’. The freakin’ irony.
It was worse because I had to smile at people I knew who walked past and tell them that I was waiting for a friend. A little white lie to prevent mass hysteria. Sort of.
It took them 40 minutes and I had exhausted the limits of my colourful vocabulary in my mind. The paramedics came in then, bloody laughing and I stood up and to my utmost surprise, I smiled!
Yeah well, she got poked in the stomach, asked a couple of routine questions and after a hushed conversation between those two tall men, got administered platyphylline.
The three of us hovered in the background, squishing the occasional baby roach or two.
Using what little Russian linguistic capabilities we had harnessed over these years, we communicated with those two giants and they whisked P and Y away in the ambulance to the hospital, leaving E and I with puke-pail, used ampoules and the task of getting all of P’s documents and personal items for an overnight stay at the hospital.
Oh, and I put the shrimp back into the freezer… :)
Approximately 1800 hours: E and I are sardined in the marshutka (sort of a shuttle van?) to the hospital, stuck between beautiful blonde with fake eyelashes and smelly old drunk.
1835: We arrive at the old building and after even more waiting, bloodtaking and a zillion stupid jokes that we seem to spout at moments like these, P got the greenlight for the slumber party at the hospital ward. Woo-hooo!
Then we get up to the ward and the medsistra informs us that P would be needing her own plate and mug if she planned on getting fed while hospitalized. Now how the hell had E and I overlooked a plate and mug while packing for an emergency hospitalisation? I mean, seriously, man, what the heck were we thinking??
After hugging P, we three musketeers walked down to the groundfloor and went to a store nearby to get the mug and plate and some food for the poor woman since it was now past nine p.m., which meant dinner at the hospital was over (thankfully? Haha..)
We also grabbed some M&M’s for sustenance ;)
The walk back was a shocker. The stars were out, so many and so bright that my earlier peevishness dissolved like the M&M’s in my mouth. It was fabulous.
Then the wind started blowing. Talk about the calm before a storm.
The wind was just chilly initially, teasing, then it got stronger and by the time we exited the pharmacist (we have to buy our own meds here… which I kinda like. Funny, aint it?) we had a minityphoon roaring around us.
Pushing against it and giggling uncontrollably we walked down that last dark lane, expecting a mental gold-toothed man, frothing at the mouth and wielding a huge chainsaw behind every tree, we got back to P finally.
We passed her everything under the hawk gaze of the nurse and took ourselves home.
2200 hours or something like that: We completely spooked ourselves out when we were walking out to the marshutka stop because the cats were yowling and dogs werenbarking at the raging wind. Three idiots, the Malaysian version :P
2245: I turned the key to my unit to find that I had laundry to wash. My nightmare. I walk into my room and look myself in the mirror. My hair was a mess. My mum’s worst nightmare (my hair’s lack of regard for conformity is notorious at home).
2358: Happy with my hot shower, I began typing this
0031 hours: With a steaming mug of Milo at hand and my hair half dried, the minityphoon
is a scale 1 typhoon now. I hope the trees don’t get uprooted and that the stray animals and homeless have found safe shelter somewhere. I realise that the medical service in this country is slow because they lack the manpower and funds - the image of the overworked resident at the priomnaye adjeleniye (reception) is in my mind’s eye right now. I hope I wake up in time for lectures tomorrow, but I can’t sleep yet. I need my hair to dry first. One of the woes of the fairer sex :)… and I hope P’s ok.
*it is not 6 am plus... that's Malaysian time :). I must be growing old coz it isn't even 1 am and my eyes are so heavy already. Terrible. Maybe I should consider investing in a hairdryer?