Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What doesn't kill you, part 2.

(This part is kind of long….stick with me, please!)

So where was I?  Ah, yes.
The lady went to talk to her manager, and left me anxiously awaiting my fate at the camera counter.

After a few minutes, she sauntered back over with my information and said, “Well, we can’t do anything about it here, but it’s possible that if you go to the exact same Corte where you bought it (in Sevilla), there’s a slight chance that they might possibly be able to look it up on the same computer you used when you checked out, maybe.  It’s not a sure thing, but that’s your option.”

This may not seem encouraging, but considering I was basically expecting to be laughed at, I took the news to be tidings of great joy.  This by no means solved my problem of having a camera for my trip, but at least it meant I might not have to spend an extra 240€ on a camera in the near future.

I had posted something on my Fbook page to the effect of “fml" upon returning to my apartment.  I promise I’m not one to seek pity or attention with Fbook updates.  I was just really frustrated with being sick, not having a camera, and (I forgot to mention earlier) finding out that I did NOT in fact have two extra days off school like I thought.  I believe the word here is, “bleak.”  I had to say it somewhere.

My dear friend Jeanette chatted me up and was asking what was going on.  I gave her the abbreviated version and the first thing she said was, “well, if you want, you can just use my camera until you get the situation worked out with yours.”

To be perfectly honest with you, it had never even occurred to me to ask someone to just up and borrow a camera for a weekend.  I would of course let someone I trusted borrow my camera, but the idea of me asking someone else for the same thing just didn’t cross my mind.  I met up with Jeanette later that evening and got the camera.  It was a nice camera too, btw, so I was very happy, and very grateful that she let me use it.

The next morning I got up (still feeling sick) at 6 to catch my bus to Málaga, got to the airport sin problemas, and arrived in Amsterdam to sunny skies, and an even sunnier disposition on my part.  I met this kid, Jason, in my hostel within 10 minutes of having arrived, and we hit it off and made plans to hang out, maybe hitting up a museum or just getting some drinks.

My first afternoon in Amsterdam was great!  I just walked for a few hours, went to the Rijksmuseum and saw lots of Vermeer, Rembrandt, Hals, and many more.  I’ve always been a big fan of the Northern School, so it was great to see it all.  Unfortunately, most of the museum was closed due to renovation, so I only got to see about ¼ of everything.  Still worth the 12,50€ entry, but…just barely...


Eventually I started feeling worse, so I grabbed some dins and headed back to the hostel and chilled and read for a while until I went to sleep.  Luckily most of the other people in the room (8 person dorm) were back, so we didn’t have anyone stumbling in at 4 am from the clubs.  Also, for the first time in living history, I was in a dorm with no snorers!  I couldn’t believe it.  If my throat hadn’t been hurting so bad, I probably would have slept as well as if I were back in my own bed.  But it wasn’t to be, unfortunately.

The next morning I woke up feeling down right awful (and felt pain creeping up into my ear….), so I got up early and went to the front desk, got directions to a pharmacy where I could ask for medicine.  Got to the pharmacy, but they couldn’t give me anything except the address of a doctor.  I went to the doctor, but he hadn’t come in that day, so it was just the nurses there.  They gave me the address of another doctor, one who sees a lot of expats.  So I finally get there, wait 30 minutes for the office to open, and eventually get seen by the doctor.  I told him that my tonsils hurt and it felt like I was possibly getting the beginnings of an ear infection.  He took a look at my throat and said, “yup, your tonsils look enflamed.”  Then he looked in my ears and said, “yup, your ears look a little enflamed.”  None of this was shocking to me.

What was shocking, however, was that he then proceeded to say, “You have an upper respiratory infection.”  ¿Excuse me?

Now, I’m no doctor, and I’ve never had an upper respiratory infection, but last time I checked, it’s hard to diagnose said malady without an x-ray.  Right?  And what does my ear looking red have to do with my lungs?

Basically I left the doctor confused, but successfully got a prescription for antibiotics, which is all I was after.  (I felt 100% the next evening, btw.)  They also gave me hydrogen peroxide to wash out my mouth and gargle with.  I did it twice, got freaked out I was going to accidentally swallow it, and then just dumped the rest out.  Not after having spilled a good bit of it on myself while trying to open it though.

By the time this had all come to pass, it was only about 11 am, so I grabbed some food and went to the Van Gogh museum, which was terrific.

The museum was great not only because they had lots of art by Van Gogh, but also because they showed you the things that inspired his work and his ideas.  I’ve studied Van Gogh and the Impressionist movement before, but it was interesting to see where all these things began for the individual person.

Rijksmuseum from the Van Gogh museum.  No pictures allowed inside, so this is from the outside stairwell.

Then I decided I would go to the train station and get my train ticket printed out a day early, just because I had time, and then I wouldn’t have to worry about it later.

I hopped on the tram and got to the train station.  Got a number to wait my turn, got called up to counter, and gave them my ticket info for my ticket.

Me: I need to print my ticket for my trip to Paris tomorrow.  Here’s my info.

Train Station Guy: Umm, did you buy this ticket on the French national railway site?

Me: Yes…

Train Station Guy: And did you select “Print ticket at train station?”

Me: Yes…

Train Station Guy: Ah, well, then you have two options: We can’t access the French system, so you can either try to change the method of retrieval online, or you’re going to have to buy a new ticket.

Me: Say what now?

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