Trompe le Monde: A Round the World Tour Diary

An online travel diary so people can keep up to date with what I'm doing and where I'm going.

Location: Home, United Kingdom

You all know who I am, I assume.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

San Diego Zoo and You Won't Believe It

I spent yesterday at San Diego Zoo, one of the biggest and best zoos in the world, or so they claim. And to be honest they're right to claim such things, as it is indeed a marvellously impressive place. They've got animals coming out of the wazoo (well, that is where they come out), from Polar bears and Pandas to Orangutans, Otters and a Komodo Dragon, there's nothing they don't have that you'd want to see in a zoo.

Of course, me being me, the highlights of my trip round the cages were various beasts answering calls of nature in various ways: for example, capybaras and tapirs were in the same cage, but also had their own little enclosures off of the main cage to which they could go for sleep or peace and quiet. While we were watching, a capybara and a tapir had a row, and the tapir, in response to being snarled at by the world's largest rodent, strolled over to the capybara's hutch deal and proceeded to block the remaining big rats in their mini-cage with a moat of urine. Hilarious. But not as funny, needless to say, as the sight of a pair of Orangutans 'wrestling', or a Rhino getting rather 'excited' while eating his (and believe me, it was certainly male) food.

Now on to You Won't Believe It. Yes, that's right, ladies and gentlemen, once again I have tonsillitis. I wouldn't mind if I was actively catching it from other people, but no, I seem to be getting it from nothing and no one. So, after contemplating going home for some time this morning, I decided "bollocks am I going to let this thing beat me" and I rang up my insurance company. They e-mailed me a list of doctors in the local area that would serve me, and I headed off to one of them to get more (and hopefully this time considerably stronger) antibiotics. It was quite a walk to even the closest of the doctors' places, but it wasn't too bad because so far (touch wood) I've not got the disease too badly, just got a nasty sore throat with white spots on it rather than full-on raving delirium. I got there in the end, and went to the reception.

The woman there inquired which doctor was mine. I replied I didn't know, I'd just been told by my insurance company to come. She informed me it wasn't a walk-in clinic, and so I couldn't just see a doctor. I responded that I didn't know about that, I'd just been told by my insurance company to come. She inquired which was my insurance company. I told her that it was a British insurance policy. She asked me for my card. I countered that I didn't have a card, but that my company had said to get her to ring it for the relevent details. She told me that she wouldn't ring, because I needed a card.

At this point she took a phone call from someone (something else I hate, but let's not get sidetracked). When she got off the phone she seemed surprised to see me still there. She laid down the law: she wouldn't ring, because if she did they'd need to know my details, and she didn't know my details. When I told her I could give her my details if they asked she refused. So I've had to come back here to my hostel to try and find another doctors'. I will then have to ring up said place and no doubt have a row (side note: Americans don't use the word 'row' - how strange) with them about my insurance. Who knows, perhaps in the end I will get some sort of service, and perhaps become cured.

This is why we need to keep the NHS, rubbish though it may be: at least you don't have to pay through the nose for such bureaucratic incompetence.


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