Sunday, August 1, 2010

Day 48: Hospital Craziness

So the french hospital system is less than hospitable. I mean, the nurses were really nice... but they don't offer guests a shower or towels or anything! Plus, even though Aunty L was paying over 2k a night to stay in the hospital for care, they put a crazy lady beside her who wouldn't shut up during the night! So when we went to visit her she had admitted to having very little sleep. It's really unfortunate.

What's more, we could not get a hold of the insurance company! Not even the social worker could, and so she had to ask for help from a more experienced associate. Needless to say we were there for more than a few hours. Of course I don't like hospitals very much... for various reasons. One reason is that you don't want to touch anything! Don't want to sit down, don't want to use the bathroom (though I guess a hospital toilet would be more sanitary than a regular one, when I think about it). You don't even want to touch the push-buttom for the hand sanitation cream! I was pleased to realize that KP felt the same way: either I'm not crazy, or craziness is hereditary. The doctor got a bit bothered by us using our feet to open and close the door, I think.

Unfortunately when evening came, we were just finishing sorting things out at the hospital. It was decided that Aunty L would stay there and catch a plane ride to Estonia in a couple days. We were sad to leave her there, but we had to vamos or else we wouldn't make it to Ramstein in time to find a place to stay.

The drive to Ramstein was nice, and you definitely noticed a change of pace once you got out of France and on to German roads. Leaving Paris took forever though. But once we got going, it was good -- Uncle D even got camera flashed for speeding! Also, there were cute little decorations along the roadside that consisted of gradiated colored rock that would look like the side of the road was changing color as you passed. Was interesting! I think I saw an animation done in the same way in a Japanese subway tunnel.

Anyway, after a few hours we got in to town, right next to the American Air Base. We checked Pirsch, where we had stayed previously, but it was all shut down for the night. Next we tried Hotel America, and they were full too. I wasn't surprised.... it was about midnight when we pulled in. However, we were told to go and visit Landstuhl to see if Hotel Christine was open. We did, and it was! So we got a nice big room with a big television and bathroom, and even a kitchenette. From our window, we could even see the castle on the hill. Because there was only one bed, though, when it came to go to sleep we had to share the bed between the three of us. Snug as a bug in a rug!

In the middle of the night, I woke up to a tremendous roar. It startled me, and I got up to look around, and realized it was Uncle D's snoring!! I strategically hopped off and on the bed again to perhaps disturb his slumber enough that he would relent on the noise, but unfortunately it was to no avail. So instead, I decided to wake him up and let him know he was snoring... so in my quietest yet firmest voice, I whispered,  "Uncle D... Uncle D... wake up, Uncle D.... you're snoring! It sounds like there's a bear in the room?". He woke up, didn't even realize he was snoring, and went back to bed. In the morning he told me he got a kick out my attempt to wake him up: apparently Aunty L has a better method -- hitting! What I find even more funny is that KP managed to sleep through it all.

Despite the setbacks mentioned earlier, being back in Germany feels nice.

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