Saturday, October 13, 2012

The doctor's appointment and google translator

There are those things in life that are very hard go through but that, at the end, bring great rewards! It was the case of my huge burst blister!! No nothing very deep, only a blister! A big, nasty one that I've made on the walk to the dry lake (the one with no water in Lake Baikal). The big problem with it was that I couldn't exactly stop walking. Walking is something that is usually necessary, but when you are travelling it becomes even more imperative as your body (and your belongings) won't move themselves alone.
So yes... I had a burst blister that made itself noticeable every time I gave a step. But things were not so bad until the time it started to look funny,... funny as in "almost infected". And it wouldn't get better with normal Betadine.
I never took a photo of the blister itself but here is how it looked with the bandage on top (the yellow thing is the Betadine)

That was why we decided (I say we because it was something that was actually discussed during one night) to try to find something for it. Next morning we (me and Isa) went to the pharmacy.
They spoke no English (and Portuguese even less) and our Mongolian was no better.
I take off my tennis, my sock and show them the wound (by this time it looked like one). They gave us something that ressembled Betadine (which we already had). After a few minutes of "this is what we recomend" (should be read as "Ahasfjq spguahaf najf") and "But we already have that, we need something better" they point us to a Hospital that was just around the corner.
We go there... again... no English, of course! The girl at the reception asks for the passport (which I understood at the 5th try) and Isa starts to rub her hand trying to explain I have a wound. It seems that the girl understood (I had my doubts) and writes a number, 209, the room number where we were supposed to go.
We climbed up the stairs and... its the Dermatology section (which was even written in English!). We look at each other and laugh but I go in anyway. Better a dermatologist than nothing!

Room 209. Dermatology section
Inside there is the doctor. English? Of course not. Again, I take off my tennis and my sock and show her the wound. She doesn't seem to understand. And this was when Isa had a stroke of genious!! She saw the computer and thought that maybe it had internet. She asks the doctor if she can use the computer and goes to google translator!! Brilliant! We write (we because Isa wrote half and I wrote the other half - we were both on top of the doctor's sit) that I have a burst blister and try to translate it to Mongolian... So... Malaio, Maltês, Norueguês..) wait, where's the Mongolian??... There was no Mongolian!! I think we all (doctor included) spent about 2 minutes looking for the Mongolian on the list, until the doctor (bless her!) points to, "Indonesian"!

No Mongolian on google translator
We finally could communicate although the doctor preferred gestures to google translator. At the end we got out of there with a couple of photos, a prescription for 3 different things and a bill of 4000 Tugriks (less than 4 Euros).

The doctor advising me how to protect the blister

A new friend in Ulaanbaatar
To get the medicines we went to the same pharmacy that had pointed us the hospital. When I handed them the prescription their expressions were something like "Oh, so this was what they were looking for!!"
A pack of antibiotics and 2 balms for the next days and, finally, we went back to the hostel to begin another day!
The presciption

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