No curve was too sharp for them and their bicycle. No puddle was deep enough to stop them. -- Friends by Helme Hein

02 November, 2007

VIP Treatment

I had to take a trip to the hospital today to get my sinus infection taken care of. Because of the many foreigners in Bosnia, the hospital maintains a VIP section that assigns you an English speaking nurse who takes you to the doctor, translates your prescription and walks you to the cashier. The Sarajevo hospital is in urgent need of upgrading. Most procedures and technology have not been updated since before the war in 1991. The maternity hospital was bombed during the war and is still not open. The eye clinic now houses the maternity ward.

The pronunciation of Jesse in Bosnian translates literally to "where are you" (gdje si), but is also used as a greeting akin to, "whats up?" The doctor and nurses got a big kick out of it and kept joking around saying "gdje si, Jesse." The doctor put on one of those mirrored headbands that kids put on when they play doctor. All the materials were antiquated and I don't believe gloves were even used. Without a computer in sight, everything was logged in a large book. The exam consisted of me blowing green snot into a tissue and then showing it to the doctor. I anticipated him pulling out a little hammer and tapping my knee, but instead he gave me a prescription for antibiotics and told me to blow my nose often. Cost of the visit: 22KM (about $15).

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