After our time of debriefing with our students before they flew back to the States on Tuesday, we are now in the capital. We have spent today here as a medical day, since the quality of the medical facilities available in our city is, well, below average. (remember my story about the hospital?) But, here the culture is even more South Asian and less predictable than normal. I had called ahead about our immunizations we need to get for our vacation next month. The receptionist assured me that we didn't have to have an appointment, and yes, they did have both of the Hepatitis shots and the Yellow Fever shot. So we showed up last night to get our shots, and everyone seemed a bit confused about what to do with us. Finally, they decided that we had to go to the onsite pharmacy (called Chemists here) to get the vaccine. There was only one Yellow Fever vaccine, though, and unfortunately, that's not a two-for-one kind of thing. Husband laughed when I said, "But you said you had it," because, as he pointed out, they never told me they had 2. It didn't matter that the receptionist knew from the conversation that both my husband and I needed shots. Information is never volunteered here, unless of course it is unasked for advice.
So we went back today, and luckily, all shots were available and administered. Now we're waiting on the big welt that seems to follow the Yellow Fever vaccination. I told husband as we were getting our shots that maybe this is a different kind that doesn't have a reaction, and he whispered to me, "I just hope it's the American kind."
Next we went to the dentist and eye doctor; me to the former, husband to the latter. I didn't know what to expect, but it sure wasn't the pretty female dentist with the name of a famous Bollywood actress. I even said her name a few times because I was so proud of myself that I knew how to pronounce the 9 letter long name with 5 vowels in it. As I've long suspected, Bollywood makes you seem smarter. As she was cleaning my teeth, she seemed to be able to see everything in my past: "You brush too hard." "You have had braces." "You have all of your original teeth." etc. I wondered if she could see in there the embarrassing number of traffic tickets I've received. This dental experience was quite possible the easiest and least-painful time I've spent in a dentist's chair.
Husband's optical visit was easy too. He then went downstairs to make an appointment to see the dentist, but he had to make an appointment. He made it in person, and we walked back to the guest house to order a quick lunch. An hour later, the lunch still hadn't arrived, and husband had to leave empty-stomached to make his dentist appointment. He arrived and waited, and waited some more. But neither the receptionist nor the dentist was around, so he came back home. There's no point in complaining; we are positive this is normal, and we would get blank stares for our time.