I’m here in the TV room at the Ele waiting to head to the airport. Checked out and made sure everything is in order. This past week has been pretty chill and I’m glad for that.
Went to the winelands in Stellenbosch today. David hiked TM w/ the new Germans. The Belgians flaked so it was just Milena and I. It turned out to be a great experience. We went to Spier first. Saw the cheetahs, but I didn’t wait around for the adult encounter since Milena was hungry. I just had an overwhelming sense of contentedness today. I figure I could always pet a cheetah the next time I was in Africa. And if I never wound up in Africa, so what? We then went to Rust en Vrede. Milena had an R150 sirloin lunch. I had a tasting. It was gorgeous. I didn’t take a picture because it didn’t seem like something that could be reproduced in a photo. We went to buy some wine for dinner tonight at a local wine shop. The selection was staggering. On the way back, we had a near death experience. Milena (driving) said, “this is my favorite song” as a track came on. A minute later she drove into the wrong lane of traffic. Fortunately, there wasn’t any immediate oncoming traffic. A driver going in the same direction (in the correct lane) honked furiously. Milena sped up past the divider and got into the correct lane. Thank God the divider didn’t continue for too long. We could have been jam. Looking forward to dinner tonight. We’ll be taking 3 cars b/c the hired van overcharged when they heard we were foreigners (effing SA). Looking even more forward to my flight home Monday. It’ll be nice to see my dog and mellow out. Being disappointed by Justine was upsetting. I’m thinking I may not even try to hang out w/ Iemi this week. She’ll just be another girl/person who lets me down. It’s better I keep to myself. Keep to medicine.
Just outside my office you can see Devil’s Peak. It’s one of four mountain structures (Signal Hill, Table Mt, Lion’s Head) that are considered major tourist attractions. I haven’t hiked up any yet. Some friends want to do a sunset/moonlight hike up LH tonight b/c there will be a full moon. It’s hard to coordinate ppl though. We’ll see if it happens.
Jocelyne leaves today and Deren left on Sat. Milena seemed sad even though she’s spoken for. Note to self: Milena’s car has the same rancid smell the “Green” room had when I first arrived. I wonder if there’s a connection. Titi ran up a R4000 fee and never paid it. He’s blacklisted at backpackers in SA. This weekend I intended to go to Stell, but just wound up being lazy. Some others hiked the Table yesterday and another group went on the Point tour Sat. I wanted to go up in the cable cars, but they are never open. I think I’m content w/ the amount of touristy activities I’ve completed. I didn’t make it out to Long St for Shingi’s Bday/Deren’s farewell. Ppl just tend to take too long to get out of the Ele. All the drinking and smoking just puts me off. It certainly doesn’t help that I have a cold. We also saw a Rugby match on Fri. DHL Western Province got their asses handed to them by the Durban Sharks. Rugby bores me to tears. I think I’ll stick to American sports. Another German girl came by for the weekend. She wasn’t the friendliest of ppl. Just kept to herself. Bought a painting at Green Pt flea market yesterday. I think I’ll give it to Christina. Went to Kauaui again and had another wrap. We need more Hawaiin cuisine in NYC.
I’ve just completed the the file work I was assigned. It was literally the second time I worked on it. Last week the doc was out of the office for courses. We had to carry the files ourselves to and from the hospital. Miserable. There are a few more patients and fields I need to clear up, but I don’t imagine that taking too long. Looking over the files is frustrating. Data is crossed out or corrected with whiteout. E-mail printouts are used as lab reports. Also, the one inconsistency I can never seem to reconcile are patient deaths. I haven’t come across a single completed death report. It can’t be too great being a patient here.
One more week till I’m home. School will be absolute torment, but it’s now or never.
Got brain, but I couldn’t sleep w/ the chain-smoking drunk French girl. I was shivering the entire time I was at her place. It’s as if my body was trying to reject the situation.
I know when to stop drinking. I know money isn’t everything. I know sex doesn’t solve anything. I know drugs and cigarettes are self-destructive. I know knowledge is power, but most information is useless. I have a hard time finding people who know all these things. The closest I’ve come is fellow medical students. Everyone has an addiction. I’m not trying to sound elitist. I don’t feel elite. I feel alone. Why can’t people enjoy a quiet walk or sitting on the East River Promenade enjoying the breeze? Instead we have alcoholics, sex addicts and gossip-mongers. We can’t even sit together silently without feeling uncomfortable. We have to fill the air w/ useless information that no one really needs to know. I’ll be damned if I want to find sensibility in the 21st century.
Mission accomplished. I didn’t get my money shot b/c I arrived just before feeding time. The lion cubs were pacing by the fence. There were three 12 week-olds, 1 boy (Sharky) and two girls (Mona and I don’t remember the name of the other). This was definitely a large part of why I came to Africa. Now I need something else to put on my bucket list.
My masseuse. Don’t quite remember her name, but she said it meant “beloved one” in Italian and something not quite as romantic in Spanish. She smacked me when I got excited.
Physicians have a language and we should use it. Imagine if a lovely female physician was at a conference gesturing while presenting a case to a room full of gentlemen. What if the case involved the mammary gland and she pulled out her pair of voluptuous breasts and began rubbing them?"
There would be applause?
There would be semen flying everywhere!
A week and a half left and I’m still bordering on homesickness and serenity out here. It’s just minor things I miss, like my dogs, immaculate bathrooms and privacy. Saw the doc’s presentation last Friday. It was quite impressive. He’s certainly qualified to be a fellow. Went to the aquarium last Thursday w/ two new Norwegian girls. Nothing special. Left Friday for my trip w/ John and the two German girls. Went straight to Storms River. John jumped the bridge Sat morning. The others met up w/ Orjan & co and went for a hike while I got my first massage ever. Went w/ aromatherapy. The woman looked like a stripper, I couldn’t say no. We left for J-Bay that night. Stayed at “Island Vibe”. Went to dinner where Jocelyne told me about the polar bears that plagued Churchill in Canada. If they come into town they get tagged. “Problem bears” are taken to bear prison and not fed for 6 months. People drive in their car to walk their dogs b/c they’re afraid of being mauled by bears. Population ~700, but swells up to 15k for a special event (don’t remember if it had something to do w/ the bears.) Checked out the mediocre nightlife in the town. Apparently, we missed a “porn party” the previous night where everyone at the backpackers dressed up like a pornstar. Sun, we went surfing. Exhilarating. Supposedly, there’s a place in Montauk where you can surf and snowboard (even surf while there’s still snow on the beach). I’ll have to look into it. Went to Seaview Lion Park in the afternoon. Orjan got pulled over and charged a R500 fee b/c he didn’t have an international permit. Silly. Spent another night in J-Bay. It was a gorgeous beach. I may have to move to Hawaii after all. Mon, the others surfed again, but I was feeling too congested to try my hand so I just walked along the beach. Derren joined our car as we tried to head to Mossel Bay, but there was a traffic accident. We wound up staying in Wilderness at “the Beach House”. I woke up and saw a girl climb out of bed with a guy. It’s a hostel dorm room. I guess if I were wasted and horny enough, I’d have done the same. Finally, we made it back to the Green Ele. Random tongue twisters: say “toy boat” 10x and “I love NY; I need NY; I love, I need unique NY.”
Went to clinic twice last week. The first time (Tues) I went to a fixed clinic where I hung out with the SA students with robust senses of humor (I’m actually posing w/ the ringleader in this photo). The second time (Wed), we were grossly understaffed for the first time since I’ve been here. Zara joined me. We split the few students up between the two camps. Apart from Zara, there were two other clinical students (SA and France). There was one other pre-clin and two pre-meds. It was a feeble team for sure. After teaming up w/ Zara for a bit and working on the physical, I was asked to see patients on my own. I saw two women. One with muscle aches and another w/ pharyngitis. I wasn’t nervous, but I had no idea what I was doing. The attending was a nice enough guy. When I first presented to him, he noticed I would point to myself when referring to a spot on the patient’s body. All in all, things went smoothly.
My tooth walking and texting. It’s not noticeable, but I can feel it w/ my tongue. Wouldn’t have happened if my boss had showed up for work today. TIA. Puts me in a bad humour. Ross left this morning. Not sure if he’s the source of my cold. Won’t go to clinic tonight. I’ve officially been here the longest (not sure on Ellie though). Came back from the trip yesterday. Had the time of my life. The only thing that could make this summer any better would be sleeping w/ Adrianna Lima. Of course I’m rapidly approaching the worst two years of my life. And summer isn’t over yet. Could take a turn for the worse.