i mentioned earlier that i had to go to a general practitioner in amsterdam because i stubbornly slept in my contacts for idontknowhowmany days and got a gnarly eye infection. so that was cute!
and i put off going to a doctor (although i knew i shouldn't), because i haven't had the best experiences with doctors (except this one) and because... well, money.
then my eye ACHED, so i gave in. this dutch lady doctor i went to see was smiling and sweet and very efficient and she almost made me cry...
she light-heardedly scolded me and asked me why i put off being seen. i told her i was afraid of the cost. she said something about how i must have money since i'm on "holiday". i quickly told her, "no, no. not really holiday. i've been hitchhiking and couchsurfing and i'm kind of homeless and car-less and i flew here for free because my dad works for an airline."
"oh, so your dad must be a wealthy pilot then. he's surely paying for you."
i told her it's not like that in the states. and that my dad is NOT a pilot, but even if he were, he'd still be just as underpaid. and that i don't take any help from my parents anyway. because neither of them can afford it, and... i just couldn't. that's where i got teary. because our system doesn't make sense to dutch people, and rightly so. also because my right eye couldn't help but be teary.
she then prescribed me antibiotics and AN EYE PATCH... she told me to run and fetch it from the pharmacy down the street and to come back so i could have her put it on for me. i went to the secretary window first to pay my bill, but the sweet secretary non-chalantly said, "oh you'll be back. you can pay then." so... this doctor's office didn't have ANY of my information (not even my last name), but they TRUSTED me to come back to pay a bill when i easily could've skipped out and gone home with my prescription.
but of course i went back after the pharmacy. and ONLY to pay the bill. because all the while that i was walking the streets toward the office again, i imagined what sorts of fun looks i'd get if i had to walk home with an eye patch on my face in broad daylight. i thought of letting the doctor put it on me (so she wouldn't be disappointed) and then ripping it off as soon as i got outside.
and then i got there and i found this...
why yes, that IS A MOVIE CREW all set up on the steps of my doctor's office.
some time within the 20 minutes that i was at the pharmacy, this film crew chose this particular location to make a movie. HA! the universe has a sense of humor, i see.
i actually had to ask a couple of the sound guys to scoot aside because they were completely blocking the door to the doctor. i quickly got inside as they called "ACTION!" they were filming some handsome actor riding his bike across the canal and crashing in the street -- the very street i was supposed to emerge out onto with an EYE PATCH in a few moments...
i went to the secretary and paid the bill, which was only 26 euros. with no insurance! no social security number or phone number or last name, either! hallelujah, holland.
then the secretary told me to take a seat and wait for the doctor to help me with my eye patch. "oh, i'm in a hurry. i can put it on myself when i get home," i lied.
and i ran out of that doctor's office before any cruel and unusual embarrassment could take place. would YOU like to be an unwilling extra in a european movie with an eye patch on half your face?! no thanks.