Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Minibus and Stuff

I know I write about the minibus a lot. You know why? It's because I fucking love riding the minibus. Granted the one I have to ride every day is relatively comfortable and I pretty much can always get a seat plus it's a pretty drive. The drivers are all very minibus driver-y, but only a few of them are jerks and some of them are really nice.

The minibus, I think, is the best place for people-watching. It's not like the regular bus or the metro, which are somehow public enough that everyone puts on a thousand-mile stare. The minibus is somehow more intimate, requiring a lot of interaction between the people on it. There's passing around money and change, finding the dropped change, jostling where people give up seats to other people, handing off bags and children to complete strangers with seats, a bit of bitching, constant shouted communication between the driver and the passengers, and all the unavoidable bumping into people. The minibus is a temporary and shifting micro-community. I hope it never stops being so fun.

Remember how much I loved this onesie? I do.
LE turned 6 yesterday. He used to be such a little guy and he's still a little guy, but he's a much bigger little guy than he was before. He's with his dad for this birthday, but he'll have another birthday when he comes back tomorrow.

Nope. The two birthdays thing isn't working for me. I feel like absolute shit for not being with him on his birthday. I made a radio show where I played all his favorite songs, but his dad couldn't manage over this entire week to bookmark the link in the iPad and show LE how to open it, so LE just heard the last 15 minutes or so. I guess he liked it. They missed the part where I slagged his dad off on the radio. Hee!

I keep having this feeling like I'm dissembling a little bit.

Being on the radio is the only thing I did yesterday, aside from a quick shopping outing to get LE some birthday presents. I finally managed to get sick. Everyone else I know has been sick and I kept not getting sick, which was great. I felt like some kind of Not-Getting-Sick superhero.

Except this week I got sick. At first it was just a little bit sick and I tried so hard to will it away with my Not-Getting-Sick superpowers. I got mad at the sick. I completely refused to be sick. There's no time to be sick! Sick is impossible!

I don't deserve to live.
Instead, I just got sicker. The sick won. And now that I've been officially sick for a few days, I feel like being sick is some sort of character flaw. If I were a better, stronger, more beautiful, more generous, more intelligent, more health-conscious, and more hygienic person, I wouldn't be sick. I'm completely fucking bored to death of being sick.

My battle with the sick caused me to fuck up at work. I was supposed to go to this conference-y thing yesterday. But since I felt like such shit yesterday, I arranged with a co-worker to go in my place. She seemed glad to go. I gave her hard and soft copies of the stuff I was supposed to take, and marched myself off to the doctor.

Which of course just had to be another fucking adventure and after a couple of hours in the hospital, I was resting comfortably on a not-so-clean bed having some serum IVed into my arm. It felt so nice to be on a bed not standing in a room full of squalling children and old people hacking up lungs that I emailed the coworker and told her I thought I'd be fine and could handle the conference. But then that night I felt like crap again and she didn't get my email in time, that I'd changed my mind again about the conference. It's just that for a couple of hours I felt like I might be beating the sick after all, and wouldn't have to flake on my obligations. Except the sick won and I ended up flaking in an even more annoying way.

Fuck. Dissembling. Or maybe just sick. Or maybe both. Sometimes getting sick is like shedding a skin. You become a newish sort of person and a new era begins, one where you don't even remember what it's like to be sick.

So, the hospital adventure. I was going to forgo writing about one of these again, but fuck. There was another chest X-ray from the same strange little man who did it last year, who pressed his fingers around my back to see if I was wearing a bra, then told me the bra wouldn't do, so I Flashdanced it off and acted like the whole thing was normal. The strange little man, the Jules Verne X-ray machine, my awkward but surprisingly successful attempt to Flashdance my bra back on while the little man was off developing the film, all totally fucking normal.

I put this here in case you aren't of the 80s and have no fucking idea what I'm talking about.

It was the same doctor again as last year. The charming old fellow with a bit of English. He insisted I come hang out with him sometime in Rumeli Feneri where he lives. He gave me his phone number, and I gave him mine. It was the same drill as last year, where I really couldn't figure out what the fuck was happening with the phone number business because I was too sick and fucked in the head from a long hospital adventure. Was I was misreading the situation horribly or was the doctor just being friendly? How does one refuse to give a 75 year old doctor a phone number? Except this year, he called me up a few hours later while I was having a nap. Nothing really, just a "How are you?" and some "Geçmiş olsun," but still it was weird. He called me again today, just checking up. I'm afraid I'm his girlfriend now. I saved his number so I know not to pick up next time.

What the fuck is it about me that I end up in these goddamned situations?And what is it about me that brings on these people?

The doctor started to prescribe me the same antibiotics he did last year. You know, the ones where I have to quest around looking for someone to give me a shot in the ass. So I asked if he couldn't just give me some pills or syrup instead. He knew just the thing. Fucking serum. But I hoped the serum would make me magically well because anything called serum has to have magical powers.

So I paid for the serum (of course, I had to run to the bank for more money because they hospital doesn't take cards), and went into the little room where they give the serum. There was a little boy getting serum, and two women sitting next to him. The girl with psychological problems and who smoked and who was becoming anemic and who needed a whole battery of urine and blood tests was also there with her mother and grandmother. I already knew she was the girl with psychological problems etc. because her mother had busted into the doctor's office while I was in there and sat down and started telling the doctor about all of her daughter's problems and demanding the tests. They were done with their serum and the nurse shooed them off and hooked me up with some serum. The boy's mother offered me a bun. The boy fell asleep right in the middle of Regular Show, which sucked because they turned off Regular Show and put on some stupid fashion program. So I played with my phone the whole time, for like an hour.

When the nurse took out the serum needle, the other end shot blood all over. I checked that the blood hadn't come out of me. There was my blood all over the blankets and sheets and on the floor. I asked her for a tissue to wipe the blood off my arm. As I was getting my stuff together, I saw her begin to swab at the blood on the sheets with a baby wipe.

I was relieved to see the nurse carrying the sheets out a little later. I bet the boy's mom bitched at her. She was the one who had called the nurse in the first place when she saw my serum bottle was empty. She said she'd heard it was bad if air went in your vein. I'd, in fact, been wondering if the serum dripper was designed to avoid such a disaster, and how I was supposed to get someone to come prevent it.

Seriously, I think I need to start going to a different hospital.

I'm going to be 40 tomorrow.

Don't even get me started on the minibus yard my balcony overlooks. I want to make a time-lapse movie of that place. However they back all the minibuses in and out of there and park them is completely impossible, both physically and socially, but it happens every day.

Dissembling a little.


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday from ta ABD ;)

Hope you make a full recovery soon!
So far, I'm the only one in my area that hasn't gotten sick with the flu epidemic going around either. I'm hoping my drinking of gallons of green tea and my profound love of hand sanitizer will get me to the end zone unscathed.

Stranger said...


Maybe you're a Not-Getting-Sick superhero. My secret protection was lots of citrus fruit and hot pepper and garlic. Also gin. In fact, I'm convinced I got sick because I threw off the balance by imposing some drinky-free days on myself...

Anonymous said...

How are you Sarah, better I hope. Suddenly remebered today about your blog. I was in Istanbul over xmas and have got my son on facebook and have just been chatting with him.


Stranger said...

Hey, Mark. I'm glad to hear you found a way to keep contact with your son. And that he wants to keep in touch with you. It can't be easy.

Take care.


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Stranger!!

I think your forties are going to be some cool times, I really do....

Claudia Turgut said...

And a big Happy Birthday from me, Stranger! Hope you are better now - what adventures, love that bit about the 75 yr old doctor!! Any more from him??

Ayak said...

It sounds like you do need to find a different hospital, if only to avoid being the 75 yr old doctor's girlfriend.

Happy Birthday (I loved my's a great age). And Gecmis olsun xxx

Stranger said...

Thanks, you guys.

I'm not really too upset about 40. It's more just getting my head around the idea that I've crossed a line somehow.

Nothing more from the doctor. Maybe he's playing hard to get.