Sunday, 31 January 2010

Namaste Pokhara

KTM is loud and dirty and smelly, and fortunately only had to be endured for thirty six hours before escaping to the (relative) peace of Pokhara. Have been here a couple of weeks and getting quite used to my morning view of the Annapurnas glowing orange in the sunrise, my commute to Manipal (never let me complain about BGH again), twice daily rice, 9 hours of power a day, of the mid-20s'C daytime and subzero evenings around the camp fire... and of course, the holy cows.

There are mountains to be cycled around / climber up / paraglidied off, the massive Phewa Tal to row across, strikes and powercuts that do/don't happen according to some (seemingly deliberately confusing) logic, as many pashminas, down jackets and Tibetan jewelery as anyone (we likes such things) could ever want, and sunrise /sunsets that are definitely worth the frostbite.

Also, there are some hopitals and rural health camps; one of which, Manipal, I visit six days a week (lets hope the one day weekend doesn't catch on in Lothian). By some feat of Indian engineering, they have built a 700 bed teaching hospital that defies all laws of thermodynamics. Despite the clear blue skies and >25'C outside, the hospital tempreature is maintained a good 20'C below, so hat/scarf/gloves are a routine addition to your average intern's white coat and jeans combo.

Mostly A+E so far, which goes a long way to highlight the (easily forgotten) benefits of the free NHS. And that prevention or at least early intervention makes a real difference, and that pateints do die. There. In front of you, desipte the knowledge and experince of the docs. Money might not buy happiness, but it can get you some saline, paracetamol, amoxicillin and a BCG vaccine.

Anyway, enough of that. Still a bit more general med and surgery to fit in around the sunshine and campfires, and then I shall flee to the (bigger) mountains for a month...


** Autistic thought for the day: tomorrow is 01.02.2010

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