Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Last of Varanassi/ Food Poisoning / Major backsheesh

Took care of the last of my errands in Varanasi - which included going to the hospital to have a proper test taken - on and off again food poisoning was making me suspect something nasty.

The doc straight away said "You most certainly have either giuardia or amoebic dissentry. Luckily, the medicine is the same for both."

Translation: I'm not sure which one you have, so I'll give you meds for both, and we'll hope it kills whatever you have off.

The test they gave me proved to be inconclusive, so i'll take the meds, wait, and see.

Something interesting happened later though.

The pharmacy that filled my RX gave me the wrong drugs. One of the 4 sets of pills they gave me was completely wrong, for eplieptic seizures - and since Indian drugs don't come with any descritpions/warnings, I didn't figure it out until after I went back to see the doc that evening.

He looked at the pills, assured me that i would be fine (after just taking one of the wrong pills), and told me to go and shout at the pharmacists..which I did.

I started by asking for them to write their names, their phone #'s, and that of their boss... they refused. I asked for their bosses name/number, which they did, and then promptly took back once I called their bluff and started to dial it on my non-functioning cellphone.

Time was short, as my train to Calcutta was leaving soon - so i didn't have the time to wait for any police involvement. So, when they offered me 500 rupees to let the matter go (12 dollars, or about 1 week's salary for hard labor), I took it.

And that, is the first time i've ever accepted backsheesh in my life.. I think.

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