Dispatches From The Back of My Mind

The new room has turned into a fought over territory. Starting this weekend I have been engaged in a constant battle against the hordes of ants. Their bites pack a mean punch. I’m wondering if they were the culprits behind my spate of itching bites (they were confined almost entirely to my feet and lower legs). I hope that they are just as susceptible to the DEET repellent as the mosquitoes were. Whatever it is that’s causing the issue, soon it won’t be my problem. Shortly I leave Guyana. There’s an app online which lets you track your plane. As of typing mine is in Honduras.

On Monday a dreadful motorcycle collision comes in. The young woman on the back was in X factor. She is pretty badly hurt. As she is being intubated in the critical bay, a nurse beside me asks our opinion on her ethnicity. Its one of the details to be recorded on the admission forms. By this point it seems pretty irrelevant. She doesn’t make it. Her relatives loudly mourn her. I can hear them from the other end of the department where I am helping to set her ‘boyfriend”s leg. I use the inverted commas because when asked he doesn’t know her name.

Later on we receive some excellent teaching from an local cardiologist and an ER doctor from Vanderbilt on Heart Failure and Disaster Management. During the teaching, the cardiologist refers to the UK as a first world country when discussing the management options post-MI. It is weird to hear someone from a self-professed third world country call us that, like she’s admitting defeat almost. It seems archaeic.

Throughout most of last week I had lunch at House of Flavors. I don’t think I’ll ever be hungry again. It is the same creole food every day and there’s only one smorgasbord option on the menu, but it’s delicious and costs less than 1. Plus I think it has all my five a day and comes with sriracha sauce. No wonder my I’ve restricted my diet. To branch out I try going to some other restaurants. Steppers and Maggies’s (a deli) are ok, but it is more expensive and less good. I’ll have to stick with the best lunch in the world I guess.

On my way back from the market I pass a busy crossroads with all of the drive-thru restaurants and have an unpleasant shock. Two men in seemingly plain clothes walk out of a restaurant carrying pump action shotguns. This is it, I think, everyone here is about to be robbed. I am everyone. I’ve read about the high crime rates in Georgetown but I’d hoped by playing it safe I’d never have to be the victim. I have never before truly experienced the sensation that people describe in books as ‘my heart ran cold’ but that was what it felt like. It was only when they turned away from me that I could see the teeny tiny security logo on the back of their t-shirts. A third was sat in an outside booth with mirror shades and a milkshake. The relief, phew! They need some ID badges or something. The duo got into the back of their armoured car which was parked around the corner. I guess you shouldn’t jump to conclusions.

On the EU result I’ll keep it short but I will say this. I am disappointed. I had hoped to do some travelling and maybe even work abroad after my degree. This will be a barrier to that. In my opinion we were better off in both financially and culturally but I suppose only time will tell. On the morning of the announcement I was revising Spanish. Normally I only spend twenty minutes doing this but on that day I kept it up for three hours.

On Friday night we had another blackout at about 9. The music next door shut off and all of the car alarms sprang to life. They’re on a hair trigger I tell you. A large cockroach surprised me in the shower. It waggled its enormous antennae at me then skittered away when I flicked it with my foot. I still hate mosquitoes more.

At the weekend I watched the Glastonbury coverage with my Sheffield VPN on iPlayer. I got to see Sigur Ros live (on my laptop, I have yet to see them in person), Wolf Alice, Adele and many more as well as being able to catch up with the sets of Foals and Paul Heaton. One year I’ll make it. For now it’s just another way of marking the summer; I know that someone will be watching it at home in the kitchen with the French windows ajar.

I left the guesthouse to buy a pineapple from the market and was caught in the downpour. Most people were laughing. I met a very friendly teacher who asked me how Guyana can improve itself. I didn’t to be rude so I mentioned something about seatbelts which made him laugh. I get my pineapple and take some good photos. Georgetown is one of those cities which is equally beautiful in the rain, if not more so. At least the weather is warm. At home the pineapple is attacked and diced by a cleaver and serves lunch for one over three days. Or two, since some of it goes missing from the fridge.

After doing the Epley manoeuvre for a week, I think my BPPV has gone, a relief. It’s been an odd an unpleasant experience and I wonder what triggered it. At least I’ll never forget it for any OSCE in the future.

Dispatches From The Back of My Mind