"Amy has a rash all over her arms and starting on her face. Ringo-byo (apple sickness, sounds much nicer than the English- slapped cheek disease) is going through her class at the moment. Can you come and get her?"
"Oh no! Is she ok?"
"She has no fever and is happy."
"Ummm... my 10:00 class is already here. Can I come and get her after that?"
"Sure. We are about to go and watch a puppet play. Take your time."
eehhhhh? She is sick enough to need to come home early but well enough to go and watch a puppet play in a gym full of kids?
"Ummm, ok. Thanks."
So I taught my class and went and got Amy. Amy who was standing in the corridor with her hat and bag on and checking out the lunch trolley. Promised her she could have a bento from 7-11 and turned her frown upside down.
As we were leaving I thanked the principal for her consideration about my work.
"No problem. In fact, take her to the doctor and get a diagnosis and then you can bring her straight back if you want!"
"Ehhh? You just need a doctor's note?"
"No, no, no. Just a diagnosis."
What the??? What kind of illness is this bloody slapped apple thing?
So, after a trip home for her healthcare card we headed to the local clinic. It's an odd place. It was started with village money to provide the locals with a clinic. It's a general clinic, closest thing to a GP I've seen here. It caters to kids, adults, the elderly and everyone in between. It did so well it branched out and there's now a live in old people's home, an old peoples respite care centre, old people's day care centre and sick kids day care. Wow. A real one stop medical care shop, huh?
So, Amy and I went in with no appointment, a contagious disease, a violent red rash and her kinder hat on. The waiting room was full of people ranging in age from the merely old to the ancient. Had to nudge Amy to get her to walk past a seriously ancient woman propped at 45 degrees in a wheel chair with her eyes rolled back and her mouth permanently open. Staring was rude but not completely incomprehensible!
We checked in and were ushered into the corridor to wait. Then from there to a separate waiting room in a different arm of the all-purpose clinic altogether.
Walking in something seemed a little different. It was the bejewelled mirrors... the pink sofa... the array of fashion and celebrity magazines. Quite a change from the generic prints, beige sofas and pamphlets on hearing and mobility aids in the main waiting room.
Amy picked up a magazine and started critiquing celebrity fashion (we like JLo and the blonde from Gossip Girl, not keen on Miley Cyrus and Hilary Swank.) I had another look at the magazines and noticed how many of them were about plastic surgery.... with post-it notes sticking out the top. Curiosity and all that I opened one and it had highlighted sections with little notes 'our price from 50,000 yen'
Wow.... the entrepreneurial multi-purpose all things to all people local clinic does plastic surgery as well! Yup, botox, collagen, eyelid surgery, chemical peals, nose jobs- quite a few procedures.
So now you can drop granny off for daycare, visit grandpa in the residential unit, take your kid to sick daycare, drop the husband in to get his stomach ulcer medicine and take care of your wrinkles at the same time!
Who said you miss out on the conveniences living in the country, huh?