Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween In London / Argentina Recap

We're in London for a few days, and I'd expect tonight should be a hoot as it's Halloween.  Last night, the streets looked CRAZY as we took a cab back into the city after visiting Emma, Nick, little Ivy, and tiny Flo in beautiful Raynes Park.  London's got a lot to live up to though, as the Halloween festivities in New York have trumped about everything we've seen...and Tropical Bar Santorini is a close second!  Our jet lag is finally fading away, aided by daylight savings last night, so we'll see what trouble we can get into tonight.  Oh, and...the 49ers and Broncos are playing at Wembley later this afternoon!  We tried to get tickets, but they are sold out - damn.  

Before the month is over, however, it probably would be good to catch up on the last week or so in Bonus Aires, and our first visit to a PUBLIC HOSPITAL.  

The day after the Columbus Day picnic in the park, Mandi woke up with a migraine and a sharp pain in her left eye.  As we have had issues in Argentina before (emergency appendectomy in March), we called on our local and reliable contacts to send us in the right direction to get her eye looked at.  Apparently a public eye hospital is the best way to go?

Wow, that place looks welcoming.  Is it a prison?

The waiting room.  We felt like we were in a 1960's war hospital in an old abandoned elementary school.

Mandi waited in the hallway because she was blind and scared.

I was scared too, probably because I could SEE the peeling paint, the dirt and the rust everywhere, and the one light bulb hanging from the ceiling like in a horror movie.

We were given a number and we waited and waited and waited, and there didn't seem to be any order as to what was happening.  Poor Mandi was in terrible pain and she was scared to death because NO ONE spoke English, of course, and she needed help and we had no idea what was going on.  So...after about an hour, and after seeing no movement from the waiting room, I asked her if she could sit tight for five minutes while I went to investigate.  And she said "Yes, what else can I do?"

On the far side of the waiting room, there was an old door hanging off its hinges, and occasionally someone would walk out and say something, then walk back in (torture chamber?).  So, I decided to barge on in - not many other options - and when I did, I found a couple of nurses and an "assembly line" kind of operation with two filthy eye examination stations.  I politely tried to explain to the nurses that my girlfriend needed help and they didn't give a shit.  

Not only did they not give a shit, they were mean and they tried to shoo me out, so I calmly stood my ground and made sure that they knew that I had absolutely no idea what they were talking about.  I gave them the Greek facial expression for the word "no."  I guess they got tired of trying to get rid of me, and realized I wasn't going anywhere, because they finally gave in and told me to go get Mandi, which I did.  Hahaha...I understood that bitches!

Finally seeing one of the nurses...assembly line medicine 2010!

The male nurse seeing Mandi turned out to be very nice (the chick on the right was a bitch) and he diagnosed her with pink eye.  Thank goodness she didn't end up on the operating table like last time!  After a quick trip to the "Farmacity," we headed home with a soft, comfortable eye patch.


On a lighter note, I had a little medical emergency of my own a few days later.  

I ran out of Pepto-Bismol a few weeks ago, and I'd taken my empty bottle to the Farmacity to show the pharmacist what I was using in hopes that he had a replacement.  Well, he sure did!  He gave me this handy little bottle of strawberry-flavored upset stomach relief, Spanish-Bismol if you will, which actually worked great - and tasted even better! The only problem was that I apparently missed the "Refrigerate After Opening" warning on the label.  You don't have to refrigerate Pepto - how was I to know? 

So...a few days later, at 4:30 in the morning, I reached over onto the bedside table and took a HUGE swig of my new Spanish-Bismol while I was half asleep, and ended up swallowing about 5 tablespoons of chunky, curdled strawberry goo.  

Of course then I completely freaked out and started choking and cursing and spitting and sputtering everywhere, because I was still asleep and I thought I was being attacked, and Mandi was confused and trying to help, and Louis was scared to death under the covers, until he realized that Daddy was vomiting and spitting out curdled strawberry goo (all his Christmases at once), at which point he tried to eat as much of it as he could before it got cleaned up.

Sometimes it's the little hiccups that make traveling worthwhile.

Not so good after a week on the bedside table.

Columbus Day In Bonus Aires

Apparently, way back in 1492, Columbus didn't just discover America...he discovered "The Americas."  So here in Bonus Aires, Columbus Day is a really big deal.  Argentines started celebrating the "Dia de la Raza" or "Day of the Hispanic People" back in 1917 to commemorate the meeting of the Europeans and the Native Americans.  Funny, when we were kids, we thought Columbus Day was about soccer tournaments and going out for pizza.

To celebrate Columbus Day this year, we went to a really big beautiful park with some friends and had a picnic.

I see you Mandi!

Pretty park.

Stay on the path.

Nice little bridge over a have to cross it to get to the bathrooms.

There's the lake.  Those little boats always LOOK like a good idea, then you get in them and realize that they are a lot of work and it's hot and there's lots of bugs...yuck.  And what if you have to pee?

Getting a little nap in the shade.  He's a good boyyyeee.

Hellooo Megan! 
Hey random Aussie dude drinking from the red cup...if I see you feed Louis one more tuna salad tea sandwich, you're dead!  He has a fragile digestive system.

Look at all the nice trees...and Mandi, John, and Kells Bells!  
Yup, still have the same jeans on.

Crossing the widest street on earth on the way home - 13 lanes going in the same direction!?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I Don't Know How She Does It

Mandi, that is.  This is her 12-hour timeline beginning at 9pm last Sunday.

9pm:  Pack, Tylenol PM, try to sleep.

1am:  Alarm, breakfast of peanut butter toast and Pepsi Max, work.

2am:  Conference call with Asia-Pacific.  Louis is used to this schedule by now.

3am:  Say goodbye to Mommy as her car pulls away to take her to the airport.

That's as far as my camera could follow her, but the next few hours went like this:

5am:  Flight from Bonus Aires, Argentina to Sao Paulo, Brazil.

8am:  Good morning San Paulo! Car from the airport to the first meeting of the day by 9am (that's the end of the 12-hour timeline).

Then it went like this:   Meetings all day, into and through dinner, and Mandi finally got to check into her hotel (to do more work) around 11pm.  She got to bed Monday night around 2am, only to have a wake-up call set for 5:45am for a breakfast meeting.

This is a pretty normal day, unfortunately, and by normal I mean a schedule like this appears on her calendar at least 4-5 times a month.  Mandi absolutely loves her job, but the travel side isn't always as rosy as it seems.