Monday, October 22, 2007

Adventures in Winter Travel

Brrrrrrrrrrr. Lesson learned: snow from the 6th floor, while inside and shielded, is very pretty. On the ground, outside, snow is very cold and wet.

I still didn't feel like my nose was getting back to normal on its own, so we called a doctor at 9 and they said to come in at 11. The doctor is in Dobrinje (Dough-brin-yay), which is a little ways out. So at 9:30, we began the journey of getting money and tickets for the bus/tram. On our way from the ATM to the bus stop, three buses/trams passed us. Then one stopped right by us, and let all its passengers off. It apparently didn't like the snow that was accumulating on the electric line, so it quit working. We watched as the driver unhooked the lines so the tram behind him could go, only that tram didn't wait long enough and decided to help out the driver by just pushing on, and then he lost power until they got his line connected again. Finally, a tram came along, and as we always have to get in the front to stamp our tickets, the wait was just a bit long - long enough that Wiley got on with our tickets and the door started to close as I was on the first step. The driver started yelling something, but as I don't speak the language, I just crossly looked at him and pushed the door back so I could get on.

Wouldn't have made any difference: we went for a few blocks and the tram died. We waited on the tram for about 20 minutes before deciding to get off and trek it until we could find a taxi. We called the doctor's office and told them what happened, and they said so long as we were there by 12:30, it wasn't a problem. So off we schlepped, me in my hiking boots, wool coat, wet gloves, and umbrella - yes, I looked more European today than any other day because of my shoes and the fact that I used an umbrella like the locals do - and Wiley in his crocheted hat and scarf, gloves, his winter coat, and tennis-type shoes. We saw lots of people sliding around, saw a few accidents, found the prosecutor's office should we ever need it, and then found a taxi stand, where we stood for about 5 minutes until we were rescued by a little blue Jetta. The driver was ticked at all the other drivers for not having their snow tires on. "I don't know why people are surprised," he said in Bosnian. "It was in the forecast." Touche, pussycat. So he drives us out to Dobrinje, and I'm only 25 minutes late for my appointment.

The doctor's office had tons of plants: jade, ivy, lily, cactus, and a few I didn't know. We waited about 10 or 15 minutes and then were seen by an ENT specialist. Wiley had to translate. Doc stuck a silver instrument up my nose and asked if I'd ever had any problems before. I said no. He said that my nose seems to be a bit deviated, so it looks like that's what was causing a sinus infection. My nose is crooked, but I've never had problems with it. He then felt my lymph nodes, made me say "Ah", gagged me with a mirror to look in the back of my throat while he pinched my tongue, and said we were treating it appropriately by using the humidifier, keeping it moist and taking the myrtle oil pills (which they give to children). He gave me a prescription for nasal spray, more myrtle oil pills, and an antibiotic, erythromycin, and said to come back in a week for a checkup. No questions re: insurance at all, just my name, age, address, phone number, and allergies, and we were out in about 25 minutes (including the wait time!). After getting my prescriptions, all told, we spent about $50, which I think is wonderful, but I will reserve judgment until next week when I return to see if I'm cured.

After we filled the script, we went in search of a taxi, found a tram, and clambered on. It wasn't too full, and after about 15 minutes, we got off. We were both hungry, and right by the stop was a place that advertised hamburgers and fries. After Hamby King's burgers, I wasn't in the mood for that, but fries sounded good, so we went in. Of course, they weren't serving anything but burek and cevapi (chev-AH-pee), so I had apple juice while Wiley had burek, and then we started walking through all the puddles of slush to get to the grocery store on our way home. We finally get home, only to realize that the microwave popcorn bag didn't make its way into the grocery sack, so the grocery store has 1.30 KM extra thanks to us. Our gloves are soaked and are hopefully drying near the radiators, and our jeans are on the drying rack, the bottom 6 or so inches completely wet. I can see winter is going to present a few problems, such as me not wanting to go out

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