When it rains, fish will appear, Andalucia part 14.. Derek's visit to the Spanish Doctor

Door San Daniel gepubliceerd in Verhalen en Poëzie


My English neighbor came hobbling up the path. "Good morning," he said, "how are you?" "I'm fine, but I see you're limping quite a bit," I replied. "I've had that for a week," he said, 'and it seems to be getting worse' " Pretty horrible, 'I thought,' did you ever have that before,' I asked? "No," my neighbor answered, "never before."

"If I were you and I would start limping for no reason, I would go past a doctor," I informed him. "I'll do that," my neighbor reported, "but Mexican George can not accompany me and I do not speak Spanish." Mexican George was a helpdesk person who spoke reasonable English and mastered Spanish in a South American way. The municipality had appointed him as an interpreter for the English-speaking community, who would not learn or could not learn Spanish.

"I'm going to the gym in Albox," I reported, "and I'll only be back at half past ten if you still do not have any help from Mexican George by then, just give me a call and I'll stop by at the consultation hour."

The consultation hour is no fun, you go a day in advance to the receptionist and make an appointment for one of the two doctors who hold consults in the morning. Health care is free in Spain and is paid out of public funds. The waiting room is therefore full of people who, if it were to be paid by them, would scratch themselves twice behind the ear whether their visit was really necessary. People with a cough or a sore throat or just those who were shy for a chat fill the two waiting rooms.


The doctors are type Dr. Zhivago doctors, heavy moustache and authoritarian. They do not let themselves be stressed. Everyone receives a note with a time from the receptionist and sits down and the long waiting commences. The consultation hour should start at 9.00 am and that is not the same as starting at 9 00. This is the South of Spain, the most Southern point of Europe, where geniality and resignation prevails.

Usually the doctor comes later that makes him important and you feel it already coming, everyone has 9 o'clock on his or her note. The 'patients' are the ones waiting, the doctor never ever ever waits.

In a mountain village like ours, not many people have studied, so a doctor is highly regarded, he is also adressed with Don, so it is Don Antonio or Don Paco.

The don comes rushing past the waiting room, the white coat fluttering behind him and he disappears into his practice. The time ... usually 9:15. The people are moving up the banks, towards the big door, which does not dampen as much sound as would be desirable, and everyone is informed about the syndromes, worries and or disorders that are discussed inside.

At half past ten the don comes out again and  walks out the door without saying a word. Always! It is coffee time and half past ten is half past ten, coffee time! Usually it takes half an hour, and then with a lot of fanfare the door opens again from the waiting room and our performance of Dr Zhivago rushing to his practice is repeated. There he holds hours until exactly 14:00 and then he just stands up and disappears, regardless of whether everyone has been seen or not. Those who have not yet had their turn will return the next morning at 9.00 am. With his old Citroen, the doctor goes around the 32 hamlets that fall under our main village, and gives an injection here and advice there and visits needy elderly people who live too far away from the inhabited world.

Very nice that the health system is free, but the way it is implemented causes great delays.

So I was not exactly jumping up with joy to assist Derek and spend hours with him in a waiting room, while Mexican George was enjoying somewhere an official cup of coffee, paid out of public money.


In the gym I had trained hard, Monday's is always strength training focused on chest muscles, so bench presses. I had just grabbed my towel and bottle of water to leave, when my cell phone rang. "Hi San," it sounded, "the Mexican can not or does not want to come or whatever, but I'm in the waiting room, could you come?" So what do you do? I agreed, without wanting it. "I'll be right there," I told him. I got on the bike and 'ghost in the machine' came to life. When I got to the main road I opened full throtlle and I flew, wonderful, I was floating .. Growling the 1600 worked through the gears and before I knew it I had to shift down for the exit to our village that ended with the European curse of Brussels which has been  poured out all over the continent, the roundabout, even by us in the mountains, we have roundabouts after roundabouts, it drives you balmy.

I already saw the medical center and I flipped the standard of 'the beast of beasts' out and walked with the helmet in my hand to the front door.

also read part 15

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11/01/2019 07:15

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