Thursday, June 28, 2007

Anna Fatas

June 14

Today I observed another general surgeon, Dr. Muhammad Jabrani. He was annoyed that I don’t know anything about pathology.

When I walked into the OR in the morning one of the anesthesiologists looked at me and asked, “Feroze, inti Hamas ow Fatah?” (“Are you Hamas or Fatah?”) I answered “Anna Fatas” (“I’m Fatas”, a nonexistent combination of Fatah and Hamas). He thought this was hysterical. I should say I heard someone else make the same joke to a friend on the road, I can’t think up such witty responses to anything, certainly not in Arabic.

I didn’t notice it yesterday, but today half the surgical staff was smoking in the clean corridor: in the little kitchen where they make tea, in the surgeon’s office, in the nurse’s office, in the anesthesiologist’s office, everywhere.

Dr. Hashlamoon came to remove an infected pilonidal sinus from someone whom he obviously knew quite well. The guy was the classic “khalili”, or “man from Hebron”: big fat head, big fat body, no neck and a stupefied expression permanently imprinted on his face. (If you’re wondering what a pilonidal sinus is, look it up. Warning: they’re not pretty.)

I got a service from Ahli and the driver said he was going directly to Fawwar, so I just paid him for the whole way (instead of switching services in the city center like I usually do). Unfortunately on the way to Fawwar we saw an insane car accident, I really should have taken a picture of it but it felt inappropriate. A black Chevy Impala had driven into a flatbed transportation truck, putting the corner of the flatbed right into the junction of the windscreen and the hood. The car had been crushed as though a giant gorilla had repeatedly slammed his hand down on the engine, both airbags were deployed, all of the windows and the windscreen were broken, etc. The service driver knew the people who owned the car so he gave me my money back and dropped me off at the Fawwar service, then went to Ahli.