Biting my nails in Saigon
I haven’t updated in a while due to various barriers;
I arrived in Ho Chi Minh City last Sunday, and have been slowly getting through my shifts at Cho Ray hospital in the Chinatown (Cholon) district. I started out at a guest house in the backpacker part of town (Pham Ngu Lau), and met with various interruptions in power, locked gates, but always smiling faces.
“Hello, Moto!?” is as ubiquitous here as in Phnom Penh. Only, fewer moto drivers here speak English. Eventually they recognize my poorly pronounced “beee-enn vee-unggg cho raiii” as “please take me to the big hospital, you know, the one in Cholon?” All the doctors in the Emergency Department (where my placement is) laugh at me as I try out my newly learned phrases.
I’ve got to keep this short as I want to make dinner and take the dog for another walk. I’m pseudo-house/dog-sitting for the Canadian Consul to Vietnam. His lovely wife has a connection with the charity with whom I worked in Vietnam, and she graciously invited me to their home. It’s a beautiful house, full of ethnic treasures and family charm. Makes me a little homesick, but is so nice to have a friendly dog to hang out with and to be away from the hustle and bustle of urban Ho Chi Minh City.
There was a horrible case at work today. I’m still a bit too disturbed to write about it, and more disturbed that there is no “higher up” in the hospital that can lend an ear to my concerns. However, I’ll get to talk about it on Monday with the American (Vietnamese-born) girls who are also here on elective at the same time as me. And I think writing about it might be therapeutic, so, hold me to it.