Upon arrival, I have to show a negative syphilis test and a chest X-ray confirming that I don’t have tuberculosis (because those are things that Americans in the 21st century are at risk for, don’tcha know). Since American insurance is basically the worst, I’m trying to get the X-ray done here, where it should be covered. This morning, I (very bravely, might I add) called a doctor to make an appointment to get the referral to make another appointment to go to another doctor at the Röntgenpraxis and get shot at with lasers or whatever.

The expectation: I call and request an appointment, they offer me one time slot that may or may not work for me and may very likely be after I leave (less than a month, you guys!). I accept it out of flusteredness and then have to skip class.

The reality: The receptionist offers a completely unforeseen degree of freedom on my part: “When would you like your appointment to be?” I reply, “Anytime on Tuesday or Wednesday,” thinking that I’m offering a huge window that will surely work out.

The catch (i.e. the real reality): In spite of the hours on their doors, (M, W, R, F 9:00-13:00 and 17:00-19:00, T 9:00-13:00) they are “closed” on Tuesdays, and Wednesdays they reserve for emergencies only.

The moral: Only have emergencies on Wednesdays, y’all. Also, syphilis. Don’t get it.*

* The last time I recall hearing about someone having syphilis was in Candide, which was written 260 years ago and last crossed my field of vision 9 years ago. I get the TB thing–really, I do (ehh, sort of)–but surely syphilis is not a serious concern.