Trams are cool. They chug along the streets on their metal tracks, little engines of economy bearing people around the city. They are so cute! Trams are cute. They are right on time and they fit nicely next to the roads. I love how the tracks crisscross the city, across roads and pedestrian walkways, forgoing their own path. There’s something old school about it that I love. In Germany the trams are always on time and they move quickly – a seamless form of transportation. Fast, efficient, reliable.
Fast efficient reliable is something we take for granted so much. Even Singaporean transportation. Today the tram was our friend in the battle against food poisoning, shuttling us to and from the hospital on the dot. A point of consistency in the swirl and anxiety of everyone falling sick.
Well now everyone is resting and sleeping in our rented apartment (except for me, clearly. Am sitting in a corner typing away) and it’s dark and everyone is fine now.
Food poisoning due to Greek food, I think. Tummies not used to it. So from 4am in the morning the tummy troubles ensue… Luckily I am spared nearly all of it. After forcing myself to vomit and purging my system I’m good to go, but same can’t be said for everyone. Yan Yi is fine too, the theory is that she had 2 shots so the alcohol killed the bacteria, burst the cell membranes and all. It’s bad… The toilet and sink are in constant use and it is decided that we’re off to the nearest hospital, courtesy of GPS navigation. We tried calling the apartment owner and getting a ride but he’s incoherent due to the previous night’s alcoholic exertions, and I give up after 30 seconds. So we troop off to the tram station.
Outside it’s cold and the wind is blowing. iPhone weather report says high of 17 degrees and a low of 12, enough that I’m wearing a windbreaker over a tshirt and I’m cold. Soon enough I put on another sweater to ward off the chill. It’s the wind that kills – it’s blowing at my feet and ankles. Being your typical Singaporean, I see the rain and promptly decide to roll up my pants and put on slippers, choosing to go with the ‘nothing’ half of the ‘all or nothing’ to deal with rain policy: either wear combat boots, or slippers. Clearly I am a silly boy because all the Germans are wearing shoes and boots and I am suffering the effects of my folly. But it’s not super cold and my toes haven’t frozen off yet. Besides, I don’t want wet socks and wet shoes.
We reach the hospital, 2km away, in 6 minutes. German transportation, I love thee. Thankfully God answers prayer way ahead of time and all the people we meet can speak a modicum of English, enough that we are understood and the requisite medical attention is availed.
German healthcare is great. Not sure about the stats but it feels like it’s on par with Singapore, at roughly the same prices – 150 euros for A&E. It’s Sunday, nothing is open. Not even the supermarket! We’re down to plain bread for our food for the rest of the day (we left the house at 7.30am). Oh dear. My slice of bread does taste food though when there’s nothing else to eat.
Well all is better now… Traveling isn’t complete without stuff like that!