Don't judge a book by it's reputation

>> Saturday, 19 January 2013

I've been struggling with a bad back for the last few weeks; it wasn't only chilblains* that the Potski family pickd up during our holiday in the UK.  Foolishly, I also tried to pick up a much-too-heavy suitcase, first thing in the morning, whilst staying in cold damp house - with predictable results for someone with a weak back, and who should know better.  Consequently since we got back to Moscow, I've been trying to locate a chiropractor who speaks English and who I actually trust not to do me more harm than good.  Thankfully, yesterday morning I found one.

Part of the chiropractic consultation process with Boris (yes, his real name) involved me getting some x-rays taken.  Not, unfortunately in the clinic where he runs his practice, but in a Russian hospital one metro stop away.  Having x-rays taken is, in itself, a usual part of the process with a new chiropractor, but I must admit that the prospect of going to a Russian hospital to do so daunted me a little.  Expats, you see, tend to go to expat hospitals in Moscow.  Not only because it's more likely that you'll find someone who speaks your language, but because - by reputation, anyway - Russian hospitals are a little... basic.  Boris however gave me assurances that whilst somewhat Soviet in style, the hospital he was sending me to had the latest equipment, so after he made a quick phone call to arrange it I gathered my stuff - and my prejudices - and set off through the driving snow.

After my visit to the hospital, my prejudices stand corrected.  Once I had used my appalling Russian to negotiate my way past the aged-retainer security guard on the front gate (mainly by waving my map at him and waiting until he was distracted by the much easier option of dealing with a delivery driver who he could actually communicate with, rather than this awkward expat with her nursery-level Russian), it was plain sailing, and the little of the hospital that I actually saw was on a par with most UK ones. I would even dare to say that it appeared cleaner than many.

Sure, the uniforms of the nurses and doctors were perhaps more relaxed than those back home, and money changed hands for the xrays, but it was less than you might think, and certainly a great deal less than I would have paid at one of the expat hospitals here.  Other than that I could have been back in London.  Except, let me think - I had the x-rays taken yesterday morning.  I would not have been surprised to get the actual photographs in my hands later that afternoon, or perhaps - bearing in mind it was a Friday - sometime early next week.

In this case, however?  I left the hospital 15 minutes after putting my top back on - with the x-rays in my bag.

*Chilblains (click here for a link to explain what they are if you're lucky enough never to have had them) are something Boy #1 and I both suffer from, though not - interestingly - in Russia. 3 years of living for 5 months of year at sub zero temperatures, and no chilblains.  But 2 weeks of staying in UK houses in the winter?  Guess what Boy #1 came back to Russia with...


Iota 19 January 2013 at 16:01  

Very good. Hope your back gets better soon.

Do you remember a cartoon in the 70s called Boris the Bold?

manycoloured-days 19 January 2013 at 16:11  

oh, good news about the x-ray, hope Boris is just as good

Expat mum 19 January 2013 at 21:04  

I'm just trying to remember Boris the bold (see Iota's comment) and failing.

Michelloui | The American Resident 21 January 2013 at 14:38  

I love expat stories like this, when we discover something that actually might be better than at home. Not sure why it appeals, perhaps because it's nice to balance things?

Anyway, good luck with your back and Boris!

Anonymous,  12 February 2013 at 03:33  

thanks for share...

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