October 26th 1982

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 0
Val with ice-cream

After breakfast, into town with Rich.  He is starting his job-hunting today, but all being well he hopes to take us out sailing for a couple of days on Thursday or Friday.  In retrospect, our day wasn’t massively productive, but much of it took ages.  The weather was also disgusting – cold + rainy, so we wore our PInky + Perky outfits – we hate wearing matching clothes,  but our 2 ponchos are the same colour, so we don’t have a great deal of choice.  We went to the AA – Marge is a member, + had given us her card to use, so we could make use of their free information service.  But their response was a bit overwhelming – 2 big plastic bags of maps, guides + brochures.  Val visited the Family Planning clinic to top up her stock of pills, , but they only gave her an appointment for tomorrow.  We didn’t expect better.  We visited a camping shop – we both enjoy looking at all the camping gadgets they have on offer – + bought a screw-top food container.  We’ve been looking for this sort of thing for ages, + only now in NZ does such a thing seem to be available.  Unfortunately we’ve already bought one which was far more expensive, + doesn’t work too well, in Tauranga.  Such is the way of the world.

One massive job which we undertook was to get our Christmas cards out of the way.  A touch early?  Not if you’re sending them surface mail.  We are, in fact, a touch late.  We despaired very quickly of finding half-decent ones, so opted for Woolworth’s cheapest.  We then, with a good deal of cheek, found a teashop, ordered one tea between the two of us, + sat down to write them all, nearly forty of them.  Our efforts were also considerably slowed by the fact that we only had one pen between us, it whisked back + forth across the table.  We were there well over an hour, but the owner didn’t seem to mind.  I like teashops here.  I got a good pot, plus a jug of hot water, plus ample milk.

We asked at a chemist’s shop if they could recommend a doctor – we had thought it might be cheaper to visit a hospital, but it seemed not.  The doctor could see us straight away which was a blessing (I’d had a rotten night because of the feverish itching + scratching) tho’ we did have to sit + read Time for a time.  He was a nice old man, a bit deaf + doddery, but he seemed to have a good idea what was wrong with us.  He thought we probably had scabies, an unpleasant parasitic infection.  Having both been brought up in rather genteel homes, we were naturally horrified, but he didn’t seem to think we’d die, + prescribed some lotions for us.  He was also able to fix up Val’s contraceptive problem by prescribing six months worth of pills for her.  Val had to say she’s been recently examined, but the doctor swallowed that little white lie without a murmur.  He charged $14 for the lot, which seemed to be a sort of cut-price deal.  We had a little bit of trouble back at the chemists, when they only gave Val 3 months’ pills because that was all they had.  At first she accepted this with unaccustomed meekness, but I sent her back in to kick up a bit more fuss, + one of them bustled off somewhere to get some more.

This done, it was time to head home, so we posted our letters, grabbed a bottle of wine, + caught the bus.  By now, we were joking with each other about our disease, quietly warning off other people against sitting next to us.  On a more serious side tho’, we decided not to tell our hosts about our little problem, since it would be likely to panic them.  Our medical instructions were to smother ourselves liberally with “The Application” after a hot shower, for 2 nights running, + only then to change to new, clean clothes.  A real problem, since virtually everything we have has to be washed, yet surreptitiously, more or less.

The evening was a quiet one, just chatting, then on with the stuff.  It smelled vaguely unpleasant, + was uncomfortable in sensitive areas… in my case my arse + my cock.

Can’t say that I am especially proud of our decision not to tell our hosts about our condition, nor for the feeble justification I gave for it. The truth is almost certainly that we were concerned we might be ejected, so we were being entirely selfish, as well as irresponsible. A reminder that this is a warts and all account; apologies that on this occasion the warts are accompanied by scabies and some ugly self-interest.

Incidentally, if you think you have already seen the photo, that was because I used it to accompany a previous post, only to discover a more suitable photo later, which is now the one posted.  So, rather than waste this wonderful photo which could have come straight out of my parents’ 50s photo album…

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