Update: Well I didn’t go to the hospital today…

Well, I didn’t go to the hospital today, but everyone was happy with the result. Some hospital days are good ones. First, because 3 days ago they told us to go get an MRI and we didn’t really have any idea where to do it or how to pay for it. But two generous donations fell into place over the weekend. And we have money left over with which we want to buy Pak Fadil a recliner.

I won’t mention which hospital it was, but they were good to us today. And we got the MRI and rushed it back to RSCM — all on a “national pinch day,” which is a workday caught between a national holiday and a weekend where everyone who can possibly can stays home.

And so Pak Fadil is moving toward the head of the line and expecting to being radiation treatment on 19 May.

Yes, it’s strange to have to bargain over the price of an MRI, but it happens. Supposedly it’s free if you’re poor. Or mostly free if you’re mostly poor. But the devil is in the paperwork. So you often end up just kind of winging it.

“Just look at me, can’t you see I’m poor.”

That works. Being nice works. Smiling works. Being from the same ethnic background as the people as the people you’re negotiating with. Wearing a T-shirt with the logo of the government-owned company whose employees are always treated at that hospital could help. And most of all, knowing lots of people at the hospital. I’m not close to it, but there’s almost a team spirit — I just love this hospital. I’d never go anywhere else.

Ultimately — I think — the paper pushers there at the hospital pull a Robin Hood — take a few rupes from the hospital and give you a discount.