Wednesday, 2nd, November, 2011.

The universe continued to provide when today Sarah received a call from the hospital needing her translation skills ”100 dollars an hour” I thought to myself in amazement, I have always wondered why Sarah hasn’t got a job as an interpreter or translator; it is after all what she has a master’s degree in.

I drove her to the hospital. It was a rainy day; I waited in the lobby while Sarah took the large elevator up stairs, that huge white sign with a myriad of different departments all pointing this way and that. Physio therapy, toilets. Jesus I cannot even remember any more, so many things which can go wrong with the body, so many words I can barely pronounce let alone spell or remember.


I sat down and read a fascinating article in Time magazine about truffles. The author described his first taste, a few truffle shavings on a plate of plain pasta, apparently that’s all you need. Apparently France and Spain are the countries who have the best truffles but the writer goes on to say that NZ is doing surprisingly well in the truffle market because when they are in season in NZ the northern hem aspire is out of season and they have to rely on preserved inferior truffles or the mass produced fake Chinese truffle. So NZ supplies the truffle fiends in the north with their fresh produce. I was very interested and vowed to taste truffles at least once, even if I have to snuffle for them myself, the rich musky earthy aroma described, I can almost taste it now.


A small wizened man sat down beside me. He looked as if his eyes were caving in; he began to speak to me in a slurred voice. I chatted to him and it turned out he had a degenerative disease which had slowly been attacking his nervous system for the past 20 years ” I am here to try and get my driving license back, they took it away from me because my disease affects my balance, but I can drive better than I can walk and there isn’t any other way to get around” he said with great strain. We spoke about Terry Pratchett and his Alzheimer’s, Michael J Fox and his Parkinson’s and how people who are in the public eye can raise so much awareness for their ailments. But what of this guy? most people on the street would probably mistake him for a drunk, in fact I thought he was completely sauced when he first started talking to me, slumped over, eyes squinting, slurred speech, slight swaying.

His wife came and told him that their appointment had been moved so we said goodbye and he walked slowly out of the hospital.

A rather novel idea, a joke dispensing machine in the hospital, I didn’t get one and in the short time I was there I didn’t see anyone else either.

Sarah finished a few hours later, unfortunately she had to sign an agreement swearing that she would not disclose anything she dealt with in the hospital so I am unable to tell you what her interpreting job was about. I can tell you that she was completely overwhelmed with the amount of new medical words she was faced with ” I have to get a medical dictionary, I really want to do this job now, it’s very convenient I can register in any hospital we live nearby and get work” she said excitedly as we drove back to the hostel. I was ever so slightly miffed, I had been banging on to Sarah for years that she should be doing this and now and only now she decides to do it. Ah well


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