Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Day 69, Monday, 23rd January 2012

I am still in a state of euphoria - to see that your account now has money in it! Today, I returned the loan I had taken from my fellow pediatrician Dr. Yasser. I intend to return the money owed to the Hospital Director tomorrow. Once debt free, I can plan my own finances better and remit money to the family. This makes me very happy indeed. 

The work in the hospital is down to a weak drizzle on account of the extremely cold weather. Temperature in the mornings is usually around 5 degree Celsius. It is difficult to even remove one's night dress and change into the formal attire! Brushing one's teeth or washing one's face is barely possible, and a bath in the morning is out of the question. Going into the kitchen to fix the breakfast and pack the lunch box is an arduous task, as it is extremely cold even inside the house ... although all windows are closed and there is no ventilation to speak of. The cold weather makes it a herculean task to go out of the house and walk on the road till some other doctor's car stops near the kerb and the doctor invites you in for a lift to the hospital. Dr. Niaz and I used to go for the evening walks after Ishaa prayers, but now I go after the Asr prayers, as at this time, the sun is still out and it is not that cold. From today, I started jogging in addition to brisk walking, and actually sweated a little at the end of the session. This felt good, After the walk-jog, I went to a cafeteria and ordered a chicken hamburger and tea. Addition of the fuel to the body made the return walk a bit tolerable.

Dr. Niaz leaves for a vacation within 10 days, and, on the other side, my original room mate Dr. Shahid is expected to return within 7-8 days. I am dreaming about when it will be my turn to go on a long holiday and meet my family and parents. As per the schedule, it should be in October, but I just might make an interim plan to call my kids and biwi (wife) to Dubai in May and join them there for a short vacation. 

Today, one of our senior doctors, the ENT specialist Dr. Aala went around collecting SR 100 from each specialist to contribute towards the arrangement of a send-off party for the outgoing hospital director Mr. Raad Saad Al Haarty. He left his post a few days ago, and is now going to work in a hospital in Mecca, his home-town. It wasn't easy to part with the money, but I had to, as everyone else was doing the same. It seems that the resident doctors are contributing SR 50 each and the Saudi employees of the hospital will give SR 500 each. Come to think of it, that is a LOT of money for a party. I suppose they plan to give him an expensive memento. Let's see what it amounts to.

The road repairs outside the hospital are again on, and we expect to see newly laid asphalt all across the town within 7-10 days at the most. 

I am still in a dilemma as to whether or not to go in for a good quality mobile phone, and if yes, which one. I have short listed the Samsung Galaxy S II, the Nokia C -7 and the Blackberry Bold. Should I buy an expensive phone, and if yes, which one, folks?

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