Getting Stuff Done in the Middle East – part 2

Darling, stay placid, not calm, think PLACID, as in Lake Placid – large, frozen and immoveable (if it helps, image the 30-foot crocodile eating whoever is standing in your way). You will get uncountable “nos” which will buzz in your ears like the murmuring of innumerable bees. But you must never let this distract (or depress) you. Onward.

Allow me to tell you how I got my vaccine shot. A local person told me which clinic to go to and I showed up at 2pm (lunch time/ quiet time, best chance of it not being busy).

The first person I met was the receptionist, who pretended not to understand the words “vaccine,” “virus,” “corona,” or “shot” despite the fact that the receptionist was sitting in front of huge, tri-lingual posters announcing extolling everyone to get their vaccine shot here. Pointing at the sign did not help. The receptionist sat poker-faced and unresponsive.

Was I put out? Did I raise my voice? Did I fuss? Heaven-forfend! I looked around and found an orderly and asked him. He said, “No vaccines today.”

Did I give up? Perish the thought. I smiled widely and said, “I just want to see the place where the vaccines are given.”

He said, “here,” pointing to a large empty table near the reception area.

I smiled again, as if he had not spoken, and repeated, “I just want to see the place where the vaccines are given.”

So he started walking away through the clinic. I followed him until we reached a back door and he pointed to a building across the parking lot, “over there.”

Another orderly was walking into the building so I pointed and asked him, “Is the place to get vaccines in that building?”

He turned to the orderly standing next to me and they started talking in a language I don’t understand.

Then the first orderly said, “this way.”

So I followed him back through the clinic to the other side of the reception area and lo, there was a small room with a sign that said “vaccines” and a nurse sitting at a desk.

I smiled at the orderly, said “thank you,” then turned to the nurse, sat down, smiled again and said, “I would like a vaccine shot please.”

She said, “no.” So I smiled again and said that I just wanted some information about the vaccine.

Two minutes later, a doctor showed up. The nurse and the doctor talked about me as I sat with a look of benign pleasantness plastered on my face pretending to not understand what they were saying.

I got the shot.

Never give up. Never lose your temper. Good rules for survival no matter where you live.