The Parasites of Dan Panorama Hotel
"2021, can you believe it? Look, look," - he waved his phone in front of my face - "2021!"
This was what I heard for at least fifteen minutes while in a waiting room to see a dermatologist a few days ago. It was a fascinating conversation with the most boring guy in the world. I've given him this title even though I've met far more boring people in my day. Not only because he didn't shut up about Fast and Furious 2021, but he rattled on as one who believes that every word he speaks is gold. He had a square hairstyle like Kim Jong-un.
As he spoke, very loudly because he was sitting a few chairs away, I realised I had seen him on a scooter just before entering the clinic. He rode in rather sharp zigzags on a two-way road. Maybe he was drunk. To Square-head's credit, drunk driving does reduce the chances of dying from Covid or a skin disease. Despite all this, I was nice to him, because annoying as he was, and even with a square head, every person in the world is somewhere in line to inherit the British throne.
He told me it took him three months to get an appointment.
"How long did it take you?" He asked.
"How long have you been waiting to see a dermatologist?"
"Half an hour," I said.
"I made the appointment half an hour ago and came. Was available." I said.
An old woman sitting in the distance woke up from her nap, "You're fortunate," she said, "I've been waiting for over six months."
I imagined she didn't mean waiting here in the clinic, even though she'd been drooling on herself since I arrived. I was pleased to find she was alive, but six months? - wow. Thank god this doctor is not a gynaecologist. If he were, pregnant women would come for their ultrasound scans with a cradle.
Square-head kept chattering, saying he was itchy all night. Even though it seemed we had the same problem, I was relieved that every second chair had a sign saying "Keep a Social Distance" on it.
The doctor looked at my bruises and ruled, "Scabies."
"Are you sure?" I asked.
"Is it itchy?"
Well, Only at nights, all night. I scratch my neck, stomach and back into the wee hours, wounding myself into oblivion. I'd fall asleep for hardly three hours, and the itch would wake me up again and confiscate my sleep for what was left of my night.
"Just a tad," I said.
"Have you been sleeping away from home lately?"
"Yes." I said, "I was abroad, and I returned in November to a quarantine hotel, and then -"
He didn't need to hear any more, "It's from the hotel." he sounded like he'd seen this case a lot recently; people who were not soldiers, with scabies sponsored by the army. I don't want to name names. I think it's immature and nobody's business. However, I will do the same thing they did to me and go under their skin by calling the post after the hotel.
He gave me a prescription for an ointment, and I left the room.
Square-head was going in after me, not before shouting at me, "What is it then?"
I pretended not to hear. Because yes, I will publish a public post about my scabies, but even I have limits. I'm not going to shout in the middle of the local clinic, "Yeah, thanks for your interest, a stranger I met in a waiting room whom I don't know the name of so I call after a hairstyle. And to answer your question - I have scabies!"
A few days ago, I had a realisation that the local snacks I grew up munching, Bisley, some of which are flavoured Grill and others BBQ, taste very different. Yet, technically, they really should taste the same. That was jaw-dropping.
On the other hand, my skin was easier to heal than my childhood, and I'm back to sleeping at nights. Still, anyone who reads this post from a quarantine hotel worldwide, was or is required to enter one - I'm just saying.