Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Two down, three to go

No, this is not a description of the drinks I took today! It is the number of weeks that I have worked and will be working in Zalm. Yes, drumrolls, please. It is official: I will be spending another 2 1/2 weeks here in Zalm. It is not that Zalm is a bad hospital. In fact, there is ever so little in the form of work, that I am mostly reading/writing/sleeping/eating. Besides, the room in the hospital is fairly well-equipped and the food is free, so it all accounts for a good amount of savings in monetary terms. The hospital cleaners have to be summoned every few days to clean up the room and the corridors. But essentially, there is no stress. Internet access is all right too, as the STC signal is strong here in my room and I have purchased that company's internet card. 

So what are the negatives? Not many. The reason I am even adding this paragraph is the longing I have to be in Al Muwayh, with which I identify my own home and work. Of course, my home is just a rented place. No great shakes. I don't even have all the things that I purchased and adorned the home with. Just three suitcases of stuff that I brought back from India when I returned here 3 weeks ago, and the remaining furniture that I could not dispose off when I went to India a few months back. I have no large refrigerator, no microwave, no television, no other comforts ... but I still feel happy when I am in my old home. So yes, I do miss Al Muwayh.

There is another reason why I like Al Muwayh better than Zalm. It is the fact that Al Muwayh has become a brighter, busier small village than Zalm can hope to be ... not even in the next ten years. There are several new businesses coming up ... and the hospital, though older than the one here in Zalm, and busier, is also a more homey place. I am more at home with all the nurses and the doctors here than I am in Zalm, where I am mostly considered a "visitor". There are no Indian doctors here, and I do not know anyone outside in the village, which, by the way, is dull and not even properly illuminated at night. There is no garden in Zalm, just one open space with a lot of man-made design and furniture and a lot of children's play equipment, which lies unused because there is no grass or even false grass in this recreational space. 

As to restaurants, there are a few that are worth mentioning: there is an Indian place which serves north Indian food, and a Pakistani place that serves similar food, albeit Lahori style. A few cafetarias for sandwiches and burgers, and a few Saudi/Yemeni restaurants that serve broast and grilled chicken. That completes the restaurant scene for Zalm.

Is there anything to redeem Zalm? As I said, its hospital and its hostel are newer, better equipped and more fun to work and stay in. And that, basically, keeps me going. 

That's it for the day. Do write in and let me know your comments and share your experiences with me. Thank you.

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