Archive for the ‘A funny thing happened on the way to the Colleseum’ Category

I’m a firm believer in “what goes around comes around”.  And up until 20 minutes ago I was thinking to myself I must have done some cosmically shitty stuff recently cos the day I just had, had to be the worst in recent history.  (When I say recent, i really only mean the last 6 months).

So lets start at the beginning.  It’s wet. It’s rainy.  And everyone that owns a vehicle is using it today, so you know what the traffic is like.  So today of all days I need to be on the road driving from one hospital to the next.  Except it wasn’t raining when I left home, so I didn’t take a jacket with me.

And it’s just my luck that on the days I get to work at a hospital close to the waterfront, very close, that it should rain and howl.  I mean, why couldn’t I get the summer days?  (The whole reason I am here today is because one of my colleagues is ill in bed.  Why’d he have to get ill in the middle of winter?  I hope it’s swine flu.)

But I first had to go to my office at the other hospital.  I went there, did the work I needed to, packed my case, and made my way to the car.  By now it was pouring.  so it was a mad dash to the car.  At the car, I discovered that I had left my keys in my office.  FUCK.  So mad dash in the rain back to the office.  Soaking wet, I discovered that my keys were not in the office and the only other place it could be was in the ward.  I retrieved it from the ward and made my way back through the pouring rain to my car.

On the road now, travelling at snail’s pace towards the hospital. And there is only shit on the radio.  And on talk radio is only a bunch of idiots talking and complaining about how some doctors charge more than others.  And the damn Deejay was the one saying it, yet when challenged by a caller that his argument actually held no water, since another DJ may charge more than he does to MC an event………anyways…..thank goodness for MP3’s.

At the hospital. Had to park 4oom away from the hospital entrance becuase the construction of the GreenPoint Stadium was causing havoc even there.  400m Dash in the rain.  Pouring Rain.  Usain Bolt eat your heart out.  I must have been faster over 400m than you are over 200m.

(Running in the rain should be an Olympic Event)

Now apart from this hospital being close to the waterfront…..theres isn’t anything good about it.  It’s run down, it’s overcrowded.  And worst of all a significant female from my past works there.  Not only works there, but is part of the team I have to oversee.  And how significant?  Let’s just say I asked a question and she said no.  So yeah, I’m only doing it cos I have to.

So after my Usain Bolt beating dash for the door, it looked like I had of course not driven to the hospital but instead swam over.  Given the proximity to the sea, this does not seem that unplausible.   I got some theatre scrubs and donned them, and left my clothes by the heater in the on call room.

Some things seem like a good idea at the time.  But really they’re not.  Hindsight is 20/20.

In Grey’s Anatomy (TV Show), the On-Call room is often the scene of some heated “fireworks”.  No such luck in my world unfortunately.  Only Fire. FIRE.  FIRE!!!!  ALARM!  EVACUATION!

Shew ok, not that bad.  but it seems that leaving wet clothing too close to a heater is really not a good idea. even if it’s not a bar heater.  So the clothing caught fire.  And there were screams of FIRE EXTIGUISHER!  and the smell of burnt clothing could be smelt down the corridor.  On my arrival at the on-call room all I saw was the haze of the fire extinguisher and a smoldering mess on the floor of the on call room, and ash everywhere.!!!!

Of course no one was pleased initially….but later….I couldnt stop laughing.

Because the irony was…..today is that hospital’s 150th birthday

I could see the headlines now….”Visiting doctor burns down hospital on its 150th birthday!” with a subtext…..”doctor rejected by hospital employee”

I can laugh about it.  I can.

And up until 25 minutes ago I thought I must have done something to deserve this.  Something bad.

But then something else happened. Someone else told me they had had a bad day.  And I told them that today I burnt my clothes.  And made them forget about their bad day for maybe a minute.  I got to be there for someone going through something I went through 18 months ago.

And 18 months ago, someone else was there for me.  It was full circle.



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Now I know we’re in a recession….

Nestlé is now producing a ONE-FINGER kit-kat.

One Fingered Kit Kat

One Fingered Kit Kat

DAMN!  How is ONE-FINGER supposed to give me “a break?”

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Dearest Kay tagged me.  Now firstly, I don’t do tags.  Ok maybe that’s a lie.  I did it once.  But then I think I did it so bad, that no-one bothered to tag me again.

Things I’d want my unborn child to know, I’d want them to know practical stuff.  But at the same time I’d want them to know stuff that it took me years to figure out.  Stuff that no-body ever told me. Like for instance:

  • There are better ways to make money than being a doctor.
  • Or that being a doctor is not about making money.

See, for sheer practical advice, then the first bit works brilliantly. But then it took me a few years to figure out, that the reason I kept on doing it was for the second part.

Practical Advice

  1. Righty Tighty.  Lefty Loosy.
  2. Don’t run with untied laces.
  3. If you get chased by bullies, drop the book-bag, it’ll only slow you down, and your lifes not worth it. Also, see point 2 above.
  4. If she’s smiling at you, make sure it’s not because there is spinach in your teeth.
  5. If you’ve only stayed in the Airport parking less than an hour, make sure you have banknotes smaller than R200, or you’ll never need to make small change again. ever.
  6. If you notice a defect on something you’ve bought, take it back as soon as you see it.  And not 3 day’s after the warranty expires.
  7. Do not buy clothes that are slightly tight in the anticipation of expected weight loss. That’s money wasted.
  8. Brush twice a day, floss, and use mouth wash.  You’ll thank me in 50 years.
  9. Do not carry an expensive fountain pen in a tight jeans pocket.
  10. Do not spray lighter fluid on an open flame.  If you forget this part, and the bottle catches alight and falls to the floor, DO NOT try to douse it with your foot. Especially if the foot is attached to a leg wearing shiny flammable trousers.

Mmm.  Now the other stuff:

  1. Be God-fearing
  2. love unconditionally
  3. if you find someone you love. fight for them.
  4. do things because you enjoy them, not because it’ll make you rich.
  5. that said, find an easy way to make money so that you can spend more time doing things you enjoy.
  6. be a good friend and sibling
  7. be an example to others of outstanding morality and ethics.
  8. don’t limit yourself. there are no limits to what you can achieve as long it’s done with 7. in mind
  9. Sometimes it’s ok to think with your heart instead of your head.
  10. Make mistakes, but learn from them

That’s it.  There are loads more I suppose, especially practical tips, but I think that number 10. on the second list is probably the most important thing I would want them to know.

Thanks Kay, this was a good exercise, to let me think what’s important to me in people.

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I been gone for a bit. I promised a tongue-in-cheek post regarding DealBreakers to someone who isn’t sane all the time. But she’ll have to wait. It’s a work in progress one might say.

But Eish…I was reminded about the versatility of certain South African words the other day. For instance “Lekker”. As in Local is Lekker. But lekker of course is an afrikaan noun for sweets but it doubles as an adjective. More than that it is acceptable for Lekker to used in an English conversation. Like, that chick is lekker stoned hey??

But no other word in the South African Vocabulary comes close to “Eish”. One four-letter word with so many different meanings.

I first met Eish back in 2002. I was young and impressionable boy from the coast who had recently moved inland, to the capital of africa. This is where I met people who used a word I had never heard before. Eish. But Eish man, it took me a long time understand it’s nuances.

There must be a 100 different ways to say it, and each way has a different meaning. I was reminded by a Al Pacino/Johnny Depp movie, “Donnie Brasco”, about a policeman infiltrating the Mafia. Every second line of dialogue was peppered with the words, “Aah Forgetaboudid”. And each time it was said differently and in a different context, and had a different meaning. If you aint Italian American, you won’t get it. Forgetaboutit.

But coming back to Eish. You could say it quickly, or lengthen it out…..like EEEISSSHHH!. That was a particularly omenous way to say it. It means if, if things were bad before, well then you’re totally screwed now.

You could say it on it’s own as part of a sentence, or you could add it in the beginning or the end of the sentence. Adding at the beggining or the end changed the meaning completely:

“Eish, that is one bad mother….”
“That is one bad mother, Eish”


As a young intern, I was often paged and when I called, the voice on the other end would say: “Eish Doctor, the patient is Gasping” On my arrival at the patients bed side, I often found not a gasping patient, but rather a deceased one. This would be followed be the sister saying, “Maybe it was his time, eish wena”

I often thought though, that the patient had been deceased, long before I was paged. I thought this because the patient was cold. Yes. Eish cold.

Haaibo! You may be thinking that I am making fun of a certain culture, but, Wena, You must NEVA think that. It’s just not true. Eish.

But seriously, Eish, on it’s own often became an excuse. Like when I needed to buy laundry machine tokens, and the were out. All I got was a shrug, and the word “Eish, no more”

Thanks to Klipdrift, the word Eish has now reached the entire nation. I hear coastal dwellers using the term more often. Even if it just to emulate the Ad. Met Eish Ja.

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I was at a dinner party/birthday braai event last night. I was surprised to be called by a friend that I’ve known for 13 years to come over to her new house for a braai. Initial surprise later made way for thought about ulterior motives and I slightly suspicious about the call out of the blue. (It’s quite complicated, her family links were aiming to procure my services for a venture they were undertaking, and I thought that this may have had something to do with it.) But I quite happily discovered that no-one talked business at all, and it was really just a bunch of 30-somethings having a nice social evening.

I usually love these things, cos I meet people whom I would ordinarily not have met, and yesterday was no exception. There were two couples, married with 1 child each, and then two single guys, and two single ladies.
Did someone say set-up? But actually it wasn’t like this at all and she is not that type of person anyways.

What was unnerving though was that I had to watch my tongue all evening, to prevent divulging too much info about myself and getting myself into some serious kaka. See, one of the single ladies, turned out to have met me many years ago, (I didn’t remember), but worse than this is, I used to date her sister. She didn’t know this, because she had been abroad for a good few years. And I only realised they were sisters halfway through dinner when she mentioned where her parents live and what her last name was. So there I was all evening, like, biting my tongue!

I so much wanted to tell my friend “….uhm….you know your friend from so-and-so, well you know, uhm, I used to date her sister. And then I stopped dating her, because well, I didn’t really see it going anywhere, and well, frankly, the driving the 1 hour to get there, uhm, seemed like too much effort.”

I’m not sure that would’ve gone down very well.

Then the conversation turned to Facebook. Apparently no self-respecting 30-something uses facebook mobile. Or updates status on Facebook. And Facebook is for voyeurs and exhibitionist, BUT, it’s a great tool for reconnecting with people. And did you hear about the guy that divorced his wife, because he found his ex-girlfriend on facebook?

I also discovered there were 30 somethings that had never heard of Wikipedia. Can you imagine that Nooj?


OMW!!!!…..I just discovered she (the sister) got married 8 months ago……facebook pics and everything!

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Hideaways are not supposed to be public knowledge, but I’ll let you guys in on a secret. My hideaway is in the botanical gardens. That’s the picture in the header. One of my favourite places in the city, a garden that I enjoy, but don’t have to maintain myself! I’ve been enamoured by the place ever since childhood. I once even got lost in on one of the pathways.

Getting lost is easy for me. I do it all the time. As I was explaining to a fellow blogger once, who herself seemed slightly directionless, the problem comes because I have to think about which side is left and which side is right. It’s not a natural instinct. The way I do it is, I know that I wear my wristwatch on my left hand and so therefore the side with my watch is left. In my work it causes a bit of disorientation though during annotation of clinical findings, since my left is the patients right, (if the patient was facing me). I knew it was such a problem for me, so when I had to operate on a certain limb of a patient, I would use a thick felt marker and write on the other “Not this Leg”. That’s how escaped lawsuits.

But getting back to lost, I get lost so easily, when I visited a friend who lives in a security village I got lost inside the village. 3 times. It was only on the 4th visit that I found their house without them having to look for me. So on my recent trip to a city I had only ever been to as a child, I was glad to be able to get a Garmin.

Of course none of that helps if all the streetnames have changed. Or if the city just happens to have more slip-lanes than any other South African city, so if the Garmin says turn left in 20 metres, it neglects to say that you should have entered the slip lane 50 metres back. Thanks Garmin.

How about finding the Marine Parade Holiday In Hotel? I had to pick up my colleague there. The Garmin said there were three Marine Parade Holiday Inns. Or how about finding UKZN Howards College? Yep. Prepare to drive around in circles, Garmin or no Garmin.

Oddly enough, getting lost has a certain sense of freedom to it. As soon as I had returned home, part of me wanted to be back there. A beeg thank you to everyone who helped me feel welcome there, and who introduced me the “lindt hot chocolate place”.

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