Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The last fortnight

In the last fourteen days, a lot happened that I can write about, and much more that I cannot so easily write about. One of the things that happened pretty early on is that there was a request for a pediatrician from Raniya, a place that is located about 350 km away from Al Muwayh. I was once again asked to go there, but I refused because I have to study for my examinations that are scheduled for next month. He was reluctant on account of the fact that he has his family with him in Al Muwayh, but I argued that I had already gone for such duties four times in the last two or three months, whereas he hadn't gone even once. Thus, Dr. Yasser went to Raniya, while I did all the work here in Al Muwayh. The duties were not as bad as in the previous months, and it allowed me time to study.

My reading is mostly online. The books I read for a short while when I am in the hospital. As I did not get any response from Onexaminations.com, I decided to buy a month's subscription from another student portal called 123doc.com. This cost me UK pounds 49.95. Anyways, the portal has great questions, and I hope to be able to do as many as possible in the time remaining. As I write this, I have covered more than 400 questions out of their bank of over 2500. The comments and teaching notes are better than the ones on the previous portal that I was using, so I am happy. Our study group on Facebook is very active now, and we share at least 10-20 questions everyday, although not all the members are equally active as a few of us, including me. We cover different topics each day, and we do a joint sharing exercise on Friday evenings. This Friday, i.e. a few days ago, we covered three different systems, viz. Development, ENT and Dermatology. The interactions were good, and it seems that almost all of us are in the same state of preparation. Inshallah, we will all clear the exams.

On Wednesday evening (four days ago), I went to T'aif with the pharmacy technician Mr. Mohammad. He dropped me near Panda, and I went by dabbab to Ahla-Saif Hotel, where I have also stayed on the last two occasions. Mr. Ahmed, the Egyptian manager recognised me immediately, and on my request, allotted me the same room as on the last two occasions. I used the two nights to enjoy myself, not studying much. I downloaded several movies with the help of the free wireless connection that the hotel offers to all its guests. On the morning of Thursday, I went to Al Rajhi Bank's Money Transfer to send some cash to India. Also, I visited the T'aif Zoo ... known in Arabic as the Hadeeqat-al-haiwaan.

My dinner on Wednesday was at the Asian Restaurant located just below my hotel; on Thursday afternoon, I had a meal that was a hotch potch of snacks at the zoo and some at a local eatery. On Thursday evening, I visited Rayaan Broast, a restaurant suggested to me by my Indian colleague at Al Muwayh (Dr. Narendra). This place is located on Tareeq Janoub, the road that goes left from Shaara Shaher, and is also the route to go to Al Bahaa. There was a sizeable crowd, and I ordered and ate a mutton shawarma sandwich (it was delicious), and ordered a chicken broast to take back to Al Muwayh. It is waiting for my attention in my fridge at Al Muwayh as I write this from my room in Zalm (wait, I am getting ahead of my story).

On Friday, I mostly rested in my room, and left to return to Al Muwayh after Asr' prayers. I went by SAPTCO, the state bus transport, as usual. I arrived in Al Muwayh around 8:00 p.m., and later that night, participated in the Friday night revision session on my study group in Facebook.

Then, yesterday evening, I received instructions to go to Zalm for a night and a day to cover for the absence of their lone pediatrician who had to go to T'aif urgently. The medical director of Zalm, Dr. Talal was returning from T'aif by car, and he personally picked me up at half past eleven p.m. from outside my house and brought me to Zalm. 

Today morning, we had a conversation that explained why he had to bring me urgently. It seems that the pediatrician here had to leave urgently, and there was no time for the director to arrange a proper reliever through the central office (the Muderiya) as he usually does. 

Duty today was light, and I relaxed for most of the day. That's it for now.

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