Things Left Behind:
I’m starting to miss a few things. Had my first doctor’s appointment here in Sweden. Office was . . . how should I say it? Adequate. It was adequate, nice, something like a doctor’s office would have been in the U.S. 15 years ago. No high tech stuff. They were having trouble with a computer system newly installed. It took 40 days to get an appointment. Dr. was nice, spoke academic English and understood at about the same level. Not good when you are trying to describe a weird pain that is hard to describe in English
“Is this pain in my fingers arthritis?” I ask.
“Ah, who knows,” Doc says. “We get older. . . .”
Right. In the States they would have run at least a thousand dollars worth of tests . . . and probably given me the same answer.
I am to have an x-ray. No idea how long I will have to wait for that. I was given blood and urine tests in another surprisingly Spartan room. Results came back in 5 minutes. That worries me. How sophisticated is lab work that gets done in 5 minutes? Life in the 2nd world. Better than 3rd world. I am still damn lucky, but figure Swedish heath care will shave a year or so off my life.
And then there’s groceries.
Quote from Stanley Meisler—S.F. Chronicle:
“The cornucopia on a U.S. supermarket shelf numbs the sense of choice. A shopper searching for a salad dressing must now choose amongst French, honey French, Italian, creamy Italian, zesty Italian, robust Italian, blue cheese, thousand island, Caesar, sweet and sour, ranch, buttermilk and herbs, celery seed and onion, dill and lemon and more. There are at least 11 brands of dog food. Even bagels come in a host of flavors: garlic, onion, rye, pumpernickel, honey wheat, bran sesame, poppy cinnamon raisin and plain.”
The variety used to drive me nuts, now I miss it. How is it possible there are no saltines in Sweden? No crackers! And no peanut butter! There are some canned soups, not much variety. I miss my 20 different kinds of Campbell’s. Lunch meat is astronomically expensive, but there’s lot of fish available. Some that would be expensive in the U.S. are bargains here. I guess fish are better for me than crackers and peanut butter, but still. . . .
Below see just one of three isles.