The new little cat is in heat. It's made her very chatty. Thankfully, she's not yowling, minx-like or shouting the feline equivalents of "Fuck meeeeeeeeee!" It's more like the patter of a Patpong hostess: "Hey G.I. Five dollar, five dollar?"
The kids are getting fed up.
The Spouse, Cat-O, and I all slept with our hands over our ears last night, huddled in our bedroom as she did cat antics all around the house, commencing around 0300. She had a bead or some little piece-of-plastic-kid-toy and moused it all around the apartment, stopping now and then to chirp, "Five dollar? Five dollar?"
My own gynecological adventures took an interesting turn this morning when I arrived at the clinic across the street for my Annual Look-See.
While I never embrace this event as something great fun, I had as good a time as can be had when I used to visit my doctor in Vienna. That office was feng shui-ed and aromatherapy-ed within an inch of its life. Smelled of oranges. There were always cookies, GOOD cookies, in the waiting room. And the nurse/receptionist, a pretty young woman who embodied all the characteristics of a Great Girlfriend, would offer you tea.
The first time I went there, it was so unexpectedly nice that I cried.
My office of choice here is okay. Mostly it is okay because it is across the street, and they offer not only an OB/GYN, but dentists, an orthodontist, a general practitioner, and now they even have a shrink. It's a French office, although they speak Russian and English there, too.
The GYN I saw there last year was a man, one of the owners. He was professional and competent. But he lacked charm and humor. Charm and humor are qualities I require of people to whom I am about to show my goodies. But maybe that's just me.
So when I called last week to schedule a visit, I was not at all sorry when the receptionist on the phone scheduled me with what sounded like a woman. Although I had had a very Soviet encounter with a woman GYN at another clinic shortly after arriving in Moscow, I was willing to take my chances with this roll of the dice.
Long story short: she was very nice. Sweet. Kind and gentle. My age even (always a plus lately . . . I prefer someone who understands the hormonal roller coaster ride that is the late 40s).
But she doesn't speak a word of English.
She speaks French and Russian.
So I had to mentally thrash around trying to find the words I needed in French. I can do the OB/GYN in Spanish. Skittles was born in Argentina, and my doctor there spoke no English. But I hadn't ever done this in French.
She spoke slowly and clearly. But I couldn't remember how to say things like "worse." (I could only remember "better.") And I got all tangled up in numbers.
Her: "How many days since your last period?"
Me: "FORTY-EIGHT! I mean TWENTY-EIGHT. I mean TWO WEEKS. Merde."
I finally had to just point at her calendar. I was hopeless.
Everything under the hood checked out, but I didn't even try to cover topics like
"Am I slowly losing my mind?"
"Is it normal to burst into tears without provocation?"
"Is it me? Or is sex not quite as much fun anymore? I'm not doing anything differently."
"Why can't I stop scratching?"
Actually, I did venture into the itchy skin discussion, and we determined that it is not hormonal as I still have plenty of those. But the best we could come up with is maybe I should check with the GP about that. Or just bear with Moscow's famously hard water. Or moisturize more.
The bill for my morning's entertainment? I thought they said "2,000 rubles" at the front desk, so I started to pull out cash. The receptionist, sensing she had not communicated, turned the receipt around for me.
12,375 rubles. That's $375 at today's rate of exchange. Itemized it was as follows:
Consultation: 5,400 rubles/$166
Gynecological ultrasound: 3,600 rubles/$109
Pap test: 2,700 rubles/$82
Some other culture I don't recognize: 675 rubles (and a bargain at that $20.50)
I know it's not fair to compare markets, but I used to pay my Austrian guy 80 euros plus another 12 euros or so for the lab work.
Waiting... - *In October on Manezh Square, outside of the Kremlin* It's the final countdown until the Olympics... Here's a link to an article that was in the "Russia ...
4 years ago