Saturday, December 03, 2011

Day 18, Saturday, 3rd December, 2011

Dear Reader,

I have very sporadic connectivity with you (read "internet") as Al-Moweh is a small town, and the device that I am using has poorer coverage than the other major company's device, but as I am not flush with cash, and I bought my current device for SR 100 (that is nearly 1400 rupees), I am trying to use the same device rather than the other, more favoured one (the device costs SR 180, which is over INR 2000).

Today, I gave one of the guys in the hospital SR 500 along with my original passport for making my work permit (also known as the "Iqama"). Once I have the permit, I can open a bank account and also send information to the authorities to credit my salary into that account. The entire procedure may take another 1-2 weeks, after which the process for the salary to be credited will be put into motion. 

Getting up in a big house can be a scary thing, because, once you are up, you have to finish  all your chores as soon as possible and leave for the duty. Although the official start timing for the duty is 7:30 a.m., most doctors report by 8:00 a.m. or so. The fact is that the place where I am staying is a good 15-20 minutes' walking distance away, and I had to start rather early if I were to make it on time. In the event, I had a light breakfast, took a quick bath, hung out the clothes that I had washed yesterday night (in the washing machine), and also set some of the utensils and other stuff back in their proper places.

Just after leaving, I called up Dr. Narendra Punjwani, who is a Sindhi friend who is working here as an orthopedic surgeon. He has a car, and he lives just across the road from where I live. Luckily, he hadn't left as yet, so I requested him to take me with him. That is what happened, and I arrived at the AGMH just around 8:00 a.m. i went to the cafeteria to have a small, quick breakfast of scrambled egg ("shakshooka") and tea. After this, I was in the out-patient department till the Dhuhr prayer. In between, I had to go to complete some tasks in connection with the submission of documents to Mr. Abdur-rehman, who works in the Medical Records section. I was asked to also submit recent photos, which I did not have. 

I had earlier met Dr. Shehab, the medical director, who had asked me to accompany him to his house where he would hand me the rubber stamp I had ordered from Ta'if via him - so I grabbed this opportunity to go with him and also requested him to take me to my house, from where I picked up the snaps that were needed (and which I had had the foresight to carry from home over 2 weeks ago!).

This is a unique self-inking rubber stamp that costs SR 50, and comes with a blank impression surface on which you may attach whichever letters you want from a bank of letters, characters, numbers and punctuation that come with the pack! It was an amazing -albeit tiresome - experience to create your own stamp with the legend of your own choice. I settled for a 3-line stamp with "Dr. Taher Y K" on the first, "M.D." on the second and "Sp. Pediatrics" on the final line.

This took the better part of an hour, I think. During this time, I kept seeing patients too, and before long, it was time for the prayer and lunch break. After the break was over, it was more of the OPD time, and soon, it was time for the Asr' prayer and finally, the end of another professional day. 

I got a return lift with Dr. Aala, an Egyptian ENT specialist who is a very kind and helpful person. My colleague Dr. Yasser and one other doctor whose name escapes me also joined him in his vintage Mercedes car that drove very nicely. It was a pleasure to see Dr. Aala leaving each of us at our doorsteps, a journey that made him go sometimes into the interiors of this crazily designed town.

Once I was near home, I visited a supermarket to buy some stuff, and then went home to cook cabbage, clean up the kitchen, surf the net and write this entry. I also spoke to Nishrin and ate some biscuits and popcorn while watching the movie "The Zookeeper" - which I had downloaded to my laptop before leaving India.

Once I am through with this entry, I intend to have my dinner and then arrange my stuff in the closet. Inshallah I will sleep by half past ten. I intend to make this a routine.

I am done. And, for the first time since I began this blog, I am ending ahead of the completion of the day! (Hurray!)

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