Bệnh Viện

7pm Wednesday was the time Zack decided to have a shot at playing rugby. 9pm Wednesday was the time that Zack decided perhaps rugby wasn’t for him.

ImageMore in attempt to meet new people, than actually play the game, Zack bounded out the door with the idea that it would be a casual game between a few over-fed expats such as ourselves. I, on the other hand, decided a movie and Thai take-away sounded more appealing than aimlessly flailing around a field, as I seem only capable of in the presence of a ball. After my Ultimate Frisbee experience in Gambia I’m not one for team sport. A few hours later the previously chipper Zack returned home looking a little dejected. He was hot, soaked with sweat and had had little time to meet his fellow players… oh and he was also nursing a hand that appeared to be growing a small golf ball. After a sleepless night, the golf ball had become a tennis ball and we thought an x-ray may be wise.

With a predetermined idea of what a Hanoi hospital could be like, visiting one within our first month wasn’t really on the itinerary. When the cab pulled up outside a gleaming, nine story building, those preconceived ideas were shattered. The brand new Vinmec International Hospital, is Hanoi’s first “5 star hospital hotel”. Needless to say we did not have the experience of the majority of Hanoians when they visit their local hospitals.

As the glass doors slid open, we stood staring down blindingly white, paint scented hallways that seemed to stretch for eternity. Waiting in a glass walled room with chairs that still had price tags and a television that only played white static, the place seemed eerily quiet. Although I can’t fault it for being spotlessly clean. Among the few other patients in the entire building were a couple of very pregnant Vietnamese women and an elderly lady with a large tumor that concealed half her face.The older woman, who stared unblinkingly into space, was accompanied by a cameraman and a gaggle of young women in slim fitting office clothes and 6 inch heels that echoed down the corridors.

The hospital staff were very friendly, unfailingly polite and insisted on escorting us between the various floors and offices. Three hours later we emerged into the warm humid, ever smoggy air, slightly bewildered by the whole experience. Zack sporting a cast that he will wear for the next six weeks. Did I mention it was a game of touch rugby?