One fairly efficient aspect of the bureaucracy was getting my medical clearance. I guess you have to be healthy enough to teach although now that they’ve got me over here are they going to consider sending me back? Anyway the day before school started I was told not to eat anything because I had a medical exam at 10am. When we arrived for the appointment the doctor was out. It was explained that he has a general practice and was called away by one of his patients. Zsuzsa did a proper huff and it was decided I could have some breakfast & come back.
We had a lot of time & I observed that the office was full of big paper file drawers, 24 drawers. I noticed they were arranged by year of the patient’s birth. Only one drawer for 1986+ but several drawers devoted to the 1920’s. That’s optimistic isn’t it?
The appointment struck me as really funny. Zsuzsa filled out my medical information the questions were pretty standard but when it came to “Do you drink alcohol? “Igen“with multiple choices. I said – bor(wine) and sor(beer) Zsuzsa was very pleased. “I didn’t know you drank beer- Do you want to go out to a pub tonight?”
Back to the doctor, when we got in, he asked if I had brought enough asthma medicine. I told him I hoped so. I think there was a debate or discussion on how to spell asthma & sulfa drugs (I’m allergic to) in Hungarian. He looked-up something in his medical dictionary. He took my blood pressure and told me to take off my shirt so he could listen to my chest. So there I was with my slightly holey undershirt. It was clean at least. My thought had been to pack an undershirt I could discard when I left, one less thing to carry home. I wasn’t expecting to have three people looking at me in it but there I was with Zsuzsa, the nurse and the doctor in my worn out undershirt. Next, Zsuzsa asked him to write a prescription for an ointment she needed. So the doctor took her blood pressure and listened to her chest. If she has any blood pressure problems they are probably due to the hassle of dealing with me. In the middle of our exams his cell phone rang then his desk phone rang. He talked for a very long time. Meanwhile the nurse was on the computer doing something that didn’t seem at all related at least she wasn’t playing tetras or anything.
I asked Zsuzsa what the long call was about and she said one of his patients called & said she had fainted & wanted to know what to do. The doctor told her she should go to the hospital. Apparently she didn’t like that idea and there was quite a bit of discussion. I got a piece of paper officially stamped which I took to the Modern Language Department office. Zsusza got her prescription. I found the whole thing incredibly Mickey Mouse but Zsuzsa commented that it was quite efficient. We both got the papers we needed and the lady who fainted got some good advice and the whole thing was done before noon less than two hours after our original appointment. I guess as far as dealing with bureaucracy goes this wasn’t bad. Besides that I had a really delicious dinner at the pub that night.