Thursday, 3 December 2009

Old, somehow

I went to the Clinic of Oral and Maxillar Surgery to the university hospital to get my splint.

In fact, I've grown up around the university hospital. My great-grandma, who used to babysit me pretty often, lived across the street from the medical school; the view of the building, a construction of the 1950's neorenaissance style, on the top of the hill, is one of my constant childhood memories. I hope no damn idiot decides to reconstruct it and repaint it pink.
Another of my childhood memories is being taken to the department of awful diseases when I was ten. Normal people bring normal souvenirs from summer camps, I brought impetigo. Since I was in that age when I was already a bit too shy to run around and showing oozing wounds on my buttocks (or basically wherever), it took a time before it became really apparent. The GP didn't want to have anything to do with it and referred me to the hospital where I was shown to the students; the old dermatologist who was dealing with me said that he hadn't seen such a nicely developed case of impetigo for decades. I don't think I got to textbooks.
I also spent a memorable holiday in the psych ward there - I had the advantage of losing illusions about (a) shrinks (b) general humankind in the tender age of 19, thus becoming cynical years to decades earlier than the average fellow citizens. Thus my awful sense of humour. Times of crisis are a sort of social accelerator - whatever is in people, gets to surface. In case of the people around me, it was hysterical denial of eessues, such a cute sweet girl from a good family couldn't have a reason for a nervous breakdown, obviously.
My dad did get to textbooks - really. With his two malarias. At the same time; they sent him off to a specialized centre for tropical diseases where the docs said that before him, three or four Europeans had survived such a combo. (For your information, now he's sitting downstairs, chain smoking.)
We used to live across the street from the hospital, our post office was in one of the houses that were engulfed by the hospital... then we moved to the other end, not exactly across the street, grandma lived across the street, we lived one house down the hill. It was just somehow around.
We've moved away some 15 years ago.
In other circumstances, I've become suddenly aware how I was formed by the landscape. The hills on the other side of the valley, creating a horizon and my decreased ability to live in flatlands. The hill with medical school on the top.

A quiz question for regular readers: Why didn't I study medicine?

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