Anywhere one lives involves a set of trade-offs; good for bad, pleasant for unpleasant. I have heard it said that you decide what downsides you can deal with, and choose the option that most suits you.
Living in Cairo has its trade-offs when it comes to convenience. Just about anybody delivers (including nurseries; who knew you could get a fully-grown ficus tree in our elevator?), and household help is inexpensive and plentiful. If one really wanted to, you could never actually leave your apartment your whole stay here. I’m really not kidding.
One downside, however, is medical care.
As we are here with the State Department, we have access to the vast bureaucratic engine that is the Cairo Mission. As this particular mission is one of the top three largest missions in the world, the array of available options is impressive. Included in our diplomatic goodies is access to post-provided healthcare. The only problem with post-provided healthcare, however, is that you get to do things on their schedule, in their own idiosyncratic way.
Yesterday I went for (I thought) a 28-week OB visit and everybody’s favorite drink-the-slightly-carbonated-orange-sugar-drink (why is it always orange?) test. However, after arriving (via private taxi-car that had to be ordered the day before) I was told that oh no, there was no OB visit, it was just the test. And the OB visit? Oh yeah, that had to be done up at the Embassy. So after spending an hour and a half at the clinic down in Maadi on Sunday, on Wednesday I get to Metro up to the Embassy for an hour-long appointment where we’ll start all of the paperwork trail that eventually will get me back the states in five weeks.
I knew this would happen, the point where nostalgia kicked in for those Springville days, the days of 5 minute (I’m really not kidding) OB appointments that I could drive to myself and spending the night before delivering in my own bed in my own house. If this is socialized medicine, I’m not interested.