Every Bloomin’ Thing

Posted in On Tthe Road on April 12th, 2011 by MadDog
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Well, the fun just keeps on coming. I have, in the last couple of weeks, spent nearly US$1,200 on medical tests. These people must think I’m made of money. I have news for them. I’m all turnip inside. All I have to show for it is that I “might have something wrong” with me. Those are my words, not the doctor’s. The doctor could not be more specific. I don’t envy doctors their jobs, but it nevertheless annoys me that one cannot get the information one needs. It’s unreasonable to expect more, I suppose. If one takes one’s car to a mechanic saying, “It makes a funny noise.” the likely answer will be, “That’s because there’s something wrong with it.”

If one complains that the answer lacks detail, the likely answer will be, “Well, if you want more, it’s gonna cost you. The free consultation is over.” Hey, we all have to make a living, eh?

I’m quite certain that nobody but a die-hard masochist would relish receiving medical bad news. Right now, anything time-consuming or expensive is bad news to me, because I have a schedule to keep and I’m practicing intense frugality. Once I’m in North America, I’ll have a bit more wiggle room, at least as far as scheduling is concerned. As for the frugality, I’m rather enjoying pinching pennies. I’ve discovered the joy of learning how little I can spend while doing something other than lying in bed all day complaining.

Do we ever have any truly attractive options when such things come up? I think not. I have no option to do anything at all until I get to the USA. I have no time left. I might choose to get the needed test done while in the USA, but I’d have to start from scratch with the same preliminary tests over again. Then there is the horrendous medical system (or lack thereof, as the case may be) to deal with. Doing anything about it while I’m in Canada is out of the question. I have no rights there. I will most likely do nothing until I end my North America segment. I can continue the tests in Australia, since Val has agreed, most generously, to take care of me if the need arises. I can’t say how important that is to me. Or, I may choose to do nothing at all. It’s the “wait and see” approach.

I’m not ready to divulge any details of the medical mystery for a few reasons. I don’t have enough information to make an interesting story. I’ve been told that the likelihood that it is serious is not overwhelming (my words again – possibly wishful thinking). I don’t have time now to do the necessary test (undoubtedly also very expensive) to discover if there is, in fact, anything detectable wrong with me. So, why do I even mention it?

I don’t really know. I’ve been dealt another hand of cards. Hmmm . . . what game is it that we are playing? Can’t recall. Well, I’ll just paint a smile on my face and bluff while I’m trying to remember. It’s the old “box of chocolates” thing again.

In two more days I’ll be winging my way across the western Pacific Ocean to Honolulu. I need to make a stop there to see long-time supporters of my work. It will be a friendly reception, I’m sure, but nevertheless stressful. I have always felt at home in Honolulu, but living there is horribly expensive. I gave up dreams of retirement there long ago. That seems to be only for the rich. It’s a nice place to visit. Bring your credit cards. Blessedly, I have a place to crash with an old friend. My supporters are lending me a car, which makes me tremble with anxiety. I’m being turned loose in Honolulu traffic with someone else’s car! We’ll have to wait to see how much I’ll actually drive it.

I’ve been fretting over travel details today after visiting the doctor again. I got stuck by the nurse for my Pneumovax shot for a bargain price. So far that has been the bright point of the day. As you may detect, my mood is not joyous, so I’ll move on to today’s so-called amusement, a collection of unidentified Australian wildflowers.

Most of these shots were taken at Teewah. The bush area there is full of mysterious blossoming vegetation. For instance, this bizarre thing:

Many seem to require a caption:

I’d call this one Raggedy Anne.

This looks strangely like a Sweet Pea, but I’m sure it’s not:

Possibly Pop-Eye could tell us. Did you get that one, kiddies? A poor attempt at humour.

I was told the name of this flowering tree, but immediately forgot it:

Though my sense of smell is permanently crippled, I could detect a very sweet fragrance from these flowers. Supposedly the parrots get drunk on the stuff. Sadly, I did not see that.

I’m trying to think if I know of any other flowers which have exactly three petals:

No, nothing is coming through. Anybody??

This is probably the prettiest shot of the bunch:

It appeared to me strange that nearly all of these plants grew in seeming isolation. I expected them to occur in patches of the same species.  I’ve been wondering about this. Again, nothing comes to mind. Maybe I’m hallucinating again. I wonder what causes that also.

These were common enough all over the beach at Teewah, just above the high tide line:

As with many things, the most common was the most uninteresting.

This one captured the ugly prize, I think:

I didn’t touch it, as it looks poisonous.

My pre-travel jitters are rattling my cage with great zeal. This afternoon, I rattled Val’s cage with my fretting over a line on my electronic ticket for Sydney which stated in no uncertain terms:

BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE

—————

0 pc / 20kg

Okay, which is it? Is it nothing or is it 20 kilos? It seemed, at first, that nobody knew. At least the information was unavailable or inconclusive over the demon-possessed, much-cursed automated question answering line. Be honest now; do you hate those things? Val finally got a human (or computer which had attended acting school) on the phone who seemed to indicate that I would be allowed one bag in the hold of 20 kilos. Why don’t they just say that?

Anyway, I have tomorrow to pack my pathetic rags in my checked baggage and pray that they won’t weigh my carry-on back-pack or (horrors!) actually measure it. I try to conceal it as much as possible until I’m actually on the plane in the hope that nobody will notice. So far, this ploy has worked for me. It is impossible to get it into the overhead storage. I travel with my US$8.00 suit jacket and my black fedora. These items cleverly hide the fact that my back-pack can not reasonably be considered as being underneath the seat in front of me. I also pretend to be asleep. My feet are jammed in on either side of the back-pack so that elevated knees will not give the game away. I don’t imagine that this actually fools anybody, especially the cabin crew. Perhaps my pitiful appearance and ridiculous attempt at subterfuge gains me mercy.

Was travel this tricky in the days of the stage-coach? I doubt it. Then the world was much bigger. Maybe that bigger world was simpler. I like simple. Why can’t I have simple? It seems out of reach.

At least my sense of humour is still more or less intact.

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