November 15, 2011
From Point A to Point B
Last week my leg began to react to the metal in the staples holding my incision together, so I had to have them removed a little early. I'd been healing well, though, so no damage there. This scar looks like it's gonna be much nicer than the first one. Getting to the doctor to have this done wasn't quite so easy, however.
We still are waiting for our car to come out of the repair shop, so we hitched a ride with our neighbor Dana. Did I mention that I can't really bend the knee yet, and have a brace on it to keep it straight out? And did I mention that Dana drives an old VW Beetle? You should have seen me getting in and out of her backseat!!!
So we headed out towards downtown Asuncion for my appointment, thinking we'd left with plenty of time. Before we'd gotten out of the neighborhood, the little truck in front of us turned a curve too sharply and spilled out the 5 trillion baskets they'd had roped onto their bed, all over the road. Dana and Ken jumped out to help, but it still ended up being a half-hour job, and looked like something from a comedy sketch! A mountain of baskets piled twice as high as the truck, someone climbing up to hold them in place, another person tossing the rope, the baskets shifting and the mountain spilling out all over the street again, someone climbing back up, etc., etc. I was pretty amused from my backseat Bug position of watching and laughing.
When that was finally resolved enough to send the ladies on their way and clear the road for our passage, we took the direct route to save time. This is the route to be avoided at all costs, normally, because it's full of stop-light beggars and window washers and fruit sellers and thugs. And lots and lots of crooked policemen (I didn't really say that, did I?) standing around to pull over white folks and write them costly and often bogus tickets. But we braved it and drove right through.
Well, almost. We got to a spot where Dana took a right on red, at my suggestion, because the light was kinda in the middle of turning red. And I didn't realize that right on red was against the law here. Mr. Policeman standing on the sidewalk one block up promptly bent down, looked in our windshield, smiled, and walked out into the road to pull us over. I began a long explanation of how it was my fault, how we were late for an appointment, how much it hurt to be out in the heat without a/c and with my leg in this condition, how Dana only turned because I told her to, how we don't have money for the ticket, the whole shabang. We went back and forth, him very rude and impatient, me throwing out the smiles and a bit of begging (he was writing Dana a ticket for several hundred dollars), and he finally got sick of hearing my mouth and angrily sent us away. WOO HOO!!!!
On to the hospital, where my appointment was held. We arrived about a half-hour late, at this point, so we got to sit and enjoy the air conditioning in the lobby as I got worked back into the list of patients. A few minutes after we got settled, Dana pulled out some crackers and began to snack a bit, but she was quickly called outside by the security guard. "No eating allowed in the hospital." Oh. Dana apologized and thanked the guard for letting her know, and pointed out that she simply didn't know because the sign only said "No Smoking." The security guard gave her a lecture on how, as adults, we ALL know that you can't have food around sick people, and there was no way she should think it'd be okay to eat in the waiting room of a hospital.
On the ride back home, a girl walked out in front of our car on the big highway, and Dana had to slam on brakes and swerve quite a bit to keep from hitting this teenager who never even looked at us. I'm guessing she was very glad to finally deposit her cargo at our home and no longer serve as our taxi driver! Never a dull moment....