I had to see the doctor with our youngest daughter. This is a whole operation by itself as, since the great Allyah in the 1980's of Russians, most personnel of our National Health Fund speak Russian only. Another problem with this institute is that you have to get there very early in line. Doors open at eight? And you wanted to be out of there by nine? Come early, very early. And so, our little princess and I found ourselves at seven in the morning close to the Health Fund. She had small, sleepy eyes, something very common among the eighteen-year-olds. I brought her a sandwich and chocolate milk, so the waiting in line would be a bit pleasant for her.
We saw that three people were already waiting at the door and they were in the middle of some argument in Russian. I winked at my child and whispered that they were probably arguing about who was first in line. She nodded with sleepy eyes and took a bite from her sandwich. After fifteen minutes we were already twelve people. I started to understand what the argument was about: someone put a piece of paper on the door and wrote on it: "List for today, and it had quite a lot of names on it. There were three problems with this, as far as I was concerned: many names were in Russian, a lot of people with their name on the list were not even present and our name was not on it.
I went over to the door, to put our name on the list, but a lady stopped me, saying "Not to pushink, not to pushink!". "I just want to put our name on the list", I explained. To which I got a loud reaction from all sides: "Not on list? You go to back of line!".
"But we are here since seven…", I tried, but suddenly everyone blocked us. "Not list, not line." was what were heard and people gave us hard looks.
My sweet eighteen stopped chewing and looked at me. I hugged her and whispered: "Go to the car and call my cell-phone from the car-phone". She gave me a strange look but did what I said ( a rare moment!).
I looked around quietly while the queue became longer. It was almost eight, so there was little time left. My cell-phone rang. With a serious face I answered. Of course it was my daughter.
"What???", I shouted into the phone and looked around me. No reaction yet. "What??", I continued. "What do you mean: strike? I need to see a doctor, now!" I looked around and I saw I had everyone's attention. "What kind of country is this anyway?", I went on acting, "My kid needs a doctor and they strike? I demand a doctor! I refuse to accept that the Fund will be closed today!. I was shouting. And it seemed to have an effect.
People around me started to explain in Russian what they understood from my shouting… and started to argue among themselves how bad life in
I walked over to the door, took off the list..
The door opened and I was inside, with my daughter.
Suddenly everyone came back and started to shout in Russian.
But by that time we were sitting with the doctor.
© Simon Soesan