Adventures in foreign health care – Vietnam edition

Not to worry. Not another broken arm (that was last year in Norway.) But I did have a bad enough earache, of all things, to visit a private hospital here in Hoi An and sure enough, I have an ear infection, which I am guessing came from my brief swim 🏊‍♀️ in Halong Bay a few days ago.

The impressive thing is that I was in and out of the hospital in about a half an hour and the doctor visit and antibiotics, pain killers ( giant ibuprofen) and ear drops cost about $50. I was ushered into an exam room within minutes of my arrival and attended to by no less than four men, whose jobs were unclear, and a female nurse who drifted in and out. The young hipster doctor in Levi’s and a crisp white shirt quickly arrived, looked in my ear and declared a minor infection requiring meds. After he left, one young man told us we had been seen by the hospital’s second best doc. The first, if we were understood him correctly, left to become something akin to a monk in Thailand.

We arrived at the Halo Homestay on the edge of Hoi An at about 2 pm after a very scenic 2-3 hour drive from Hue, with the same driver we hired yesterday from our hotel, the excellent Hue Riverside Villa, a five room eco-conscious, well-designed place perched on the Perfume River in the old Imperial city of Hue. This morning, after a passion fruit pancake ( more of a crepe) for me and scrambled eggs for Dirck, we toured the massive citadel/ imperial city, a bit daunting in the heat with an achy ear. Then our driver took the scenic route to Hoi An over a mountain pass, with quick visits to a fish farm and a gorgeous lagoon and a drive past high rises and resorts in Danang that reminded us a bit of Miami.

Th Halo Homestay, recommended by a young friend (20-something Emma C.) is a family home that lets a few rooms. We walked nearby for street food for lunch (Excellent grilled pork served on wood skewers, then rolled with greens into a wrap with dipping sauce) and later for dinner (at a place with lots of men drinking lots of beer.) we aren’t really sure what we ate but it was unusual and delicious, chosen by the woman serving us. One dish was made with what appeared to be wide noodles but was really some sort of veg, plus bits of pork and little shrimp, served with a plate size shrimp cracker and a salty sauce. The other dish was almost like a pork meat loaf or pate with a tomatoey sauce.

oh and did I mention….we rode old squeaky bikes into the old area of Hoi An which was astonishingly packed with tourists and somehow managed to find our way back to our Homestay in the dark, sharing the chaotic road with more vehicles than we cared to think about.

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Filed under b&b, Vietnam

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