During the Bombing of Afghanistan...
I can't give you much detail, but I'm at the doctor's. I spot the receptionist first; a six foot tall Anglo woman in a veil and long robe. With the strong no nonsense features of a good Irish nun of the sixties. She has half carried my companion, welcomed as a friend, off to a bed.
The walls have posters and some exquisite art work; all in what I presume is Arabic. The doctor is a small Moslem woman in veil, pyjamas and over-dress. Her last patient was Middle Eastern I would guess, and in traditional Islamic garb. She and her husband have very new English. The receptionist has to draw a map of where the chemist is, and then writes "Chemist" in big letters so they can look for an equivalent sign and take their prescription to a pharmacy.
Now the person I brought here is really quite sick; I thought I would end up carrying her in the door. She was fading fast. Take me to my doctor!-- And here we are, in Islam, in a not quite smart inner city clinic. Not what I expected! Not the place where the successful would go. Moslem women are supposed to be under the thumb, but the doctor is a woman.
My companion is a very successful business woman. The other Anglo patient waiting when we arrive is an "eastern suburbs well in control" kind of woman. And while I wait for my companion to be revived enough to go home in comes another patient. A pretty fair Elle McPherson clone, disturbingly sexy, thoroughly Western, successful, and in charge of life.
All coming to see this strongly accented, tiny little Islamic doctor! My experience is all contradicted.
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