We got up at 8am and the 3 of us took a bus to Envigado. We went to BanColombia where Teresa picked up the money for Laura’s Christmas present from her grandmother.
We walked past a newsstand and I understood from a newspaper headline that the peso (COP) per dollar (USD) hasn’t been this high (just over 2400) since 2006.
We walked a couple more blocks to Nueva eps (clinic) at Carrera 41 #38-48 (444 26 38) in Envigado. I had one or two visits to the doctor with Reina but this will be my first personal introduction to socialized medicine.
We walked into a stuffy waiting room with about 30 chairs not all filled with people and 3 ladies behind a far counter with their computers. Teresa walked right up to one of them, I showed my Cedula and gave her 2,400 pesos ($1). Then we all went upstairs to a similar room. This time I saw one of those red “take your number” machines. Teresa again went right up to one of the ladies and then we walked down a narrow hallway with chairs setup on one side and most of them filled with people. We stopped at the end of the hall, Observation Room 9, where there were exactly 3 chairs available for us. We sat down and about 10 minutes later someone came out followed by the doctor who called my name.
We walked into an air conditioned room about the size of a small bedroom. I asked the doctor – Dr. Jairo Velazques - if he spoke English and he waved his finger “no”. I handed him all my medical records and Teresa did the talking for me. A few minutes later he took my blood pressure, listened to my heart, and palpated my stomach area. He repackaged some of my records so all my prostate pertinent ones were together in one package. I understood he believes I am very healthy but he wants me to have another blood and prostate test. We left after spending about 20-30 minutes with him.
Teresa told me that we can go for the blood test either tomorrow (Saturday) or next Tuesday. In either case it has to be between 6-9am. I’m sure we’ll have something better to do on Tuesday so I chose tomorrow. I also have an appointment for my prostate test next Friday the 19th.
I paid 37mil for lunch for the 3 of us at Lena y Carbon.
We took a bus to Oviedo where the ladies headed straight to the largest department store (it’s on 5 different levels) named Ripley. Later we walked through the electronics department where I observed many sales clerks just standing around doing nothing.
We stopped at De Mis Manos (from my hands) where for 90,250 I bought the poncho I saw yesterday.
We all stopped at an Italian ice cream parlor called Prego where we each had a small dish of gelato for 10,800.
We took a bus back to Envigado and another back to the finca.
T-shirt of the day: A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.