Sunday, 14 September 2008

The Canadian Chronicles

How strange life is...

I was at the gym on Friday morning last week trying to get slim and fit and tanned and good-looking all in one 2-hour session before my trip to 1955...
Or-as you know it-, Canada

And, there being little to watch whilst I was on the treadmill, (the gym at that time being full of the "unlovely-middle-aged-women-with-huge-backsides-all-dressed-in-dayglo-leotards"club)I ended up watching an old episode of “Friends”-the one in which Joey tells Rachel that he loves her...
I know, I know…how sad am I?

And then, lo and behold, sitting in the Bates Motel last night
-in downtown Armpit,Nova Scotia
-with a whole 7 channels of TV to choose from
-the only thing that looked reasonable was an episode of “Friends”
-and yes, it was exactly the same episode

Still at least it meant that I was spending the evening in about 1998 instead of 1955 where I have spent the past few days

And the hotel is naturally, unable to give me a TV guide-which is not surprising seeing that most of the channels seem to be illegally down-linked from the far I have seen channels out of Buffalo, Atlanta and Chicago…oh lordy lordy….if only I had access to THOSE fast foods

The one saving grace thus far, has been that there is a Casino in town-opened since I was here last year….and so you can eat like you’ve just got the welfare cheque, for next to nothing.
In fact, by signing up twice for the Most Valuable Player card-easy to do with my accent and range of illegal drivers licenses-I have scored 2 free meals and endless cups of coffee

Talking of food-I am feeling a bit like a size 00 model…. I’m the thinnest person in Armpit , NS,….I’ll probably even get a date!!

So there has been a whole thing going on about my TB status….cos…you know….coming from third world England, where TB and lassa fever and ebola are all rife and we are all infected with the pox….well they wanted to be sure that I was “clean”

“Pervert”, they don’t mind-as long as you are free of TB

So I had the Mantoux test done a few weeks ago and it was read at being 11 mm of induration; a ‘technical’ terms meaning they can feel the bumps on your arm...
Now the Centers for Disease Control take the range as being from 5 to 15 mm ; the London School of tropical Medicine has the same score; as does the NHS, the EEC and even Souf Efricka.

But here it has to be between 5 and 10-and so I had to have a chest x-ray (CXR) which after much argument they decided I could have here in Armpit ,NS before I started work.

Now of course, if YOU, dear reader were in charge of Public Health, would you allow someone you thought had TB to catch a commercial plane and stay in 2 different hotels and use a long distance bus. Well….of course you wouldn’t…..but the public health here clearly hasn’t read the same textbook….of course, the fact that I have to pay $170 for the CXR probably also has something to do with it...

And so yesterday I presented myself to Occupational health for the CXR and spent 2 hours being shunted around trying to actually have the CXR taken

I was told to pay for it first-but the finance office would not take any payment because they didn’t have an invoice; the X-ray department wouldn’t register me as I had not paid; and so a nice little catch-22 circle of hell was set up whilst various low-level functionaries tried to get me on the system… was eventually done….when I had been rude to sufficient number of people
(why do I always have to end up being rude to get anything done?)...(why does it always work) that was yesterday….at about 1030….I phoned this morning at 1030…..and it still hasn’t been reported on….*sigh*

Mind you, I also went to have my ID card made and was told that the computer, “she was broken since Thursday” but that they could give me a paper card….think about it…, wandering around an obstetric and gynae ward with a paper badge pinned to my scrubs!!!

And of course, the guy didn’t really have a Zulu accent….he wasn’t smart enough!!