An Oasis of Calm or (Chillin’ at the Hospital)

Around ManilaForeign Service Life
May 17, 2010

Nick recently started physical therapy for an old/back neck injury he got 10 years ago, so part of our Saturday routine now includes him going to therapy for 2-3 hours (for the unbelievable cost of $15!)  I felt left out though, so I’ve started going to get massages each week while he’s in therapy.  It’s near the hospital, so I just walk over when I’m done.

This week was the first time I went inside the new St. Luke’s Hospital.  Be sure and read my PREVIOUS POST on St. Luke’s I wrote a few months back when it opened.  Let me just start by saying that when you walk in to the lobby, it’s pretty easy to mistake it for a hotel.  It’s open, expansive, airy and filled with little cafe areas (more on that later).  There were no people running around, no wheelchairs to be seen.  Truly, it was an oasis of calm.

And tucked over on the left side of the lobby was this adorable reception-looking area that said “Admissions”.  As in, check in here if you flew here from the US to get a knee replacement.  Yup, this is an up-and-coming medical tourism hot spot.  And honestly, it had me thinking about possible surgeries I could get that would enable me to stay in this posh place (how wrong is that?!)  Turned out I was not the only one who was enjoying their time at the hospital.

I sit down in one of the cozy cafe areas and wait for Nick to come down.  I’d been there no more than 2 minutes when all of a sudden I hear someone yell “Sarah” and wave.  Well, low and behold, it’s M & N from the Embassy, with the little one in tow.  Turns out the baby had gotten scratched by their dog, so they’d come here to get her face looked at.  As  I quickly learned, this was their second time here in two weeks and it just so happened that they’d really taking a liking to the place.

So here they were “making a day of it”, having tea and scones in the lobby of St. Luke’s!  Yes, it’s true.  We all agreed that this might possibly be the most peaceful place in Manila (doesn’t that seem contradictory from what you know of hospitals!?)  As we parted, we joked that we’d meet up again next Sunday for another round of scones.  The scary thing is, even if no one is hurt, I have this odd feeling we’ll all be there…

One last thing – M even tried to convince me to bring Nick there one night for dinner, as he was so impressed by the food options, especially the Oyster Bar.  Seriously, how random is that???  Only in Manila!  Yet another reason I “heart” it here…

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  1. Chris Coleman says:

    That is hilarious – and surreal – but if you don’t mind I’m going to forward your piece to the group that is building a new hospital in our little mountain town in the near future. Wouldn’t it be great if American hospitals were like that? Instead everyone I know is scared shitless to go to a hospital for fear of infection, awful food, unwelcoming atmosphere – I don’t need to go on – I’m sure you remember all that from your life prior to Manila! So great that you are appreciating it all to the fullest! Hugs.

  2. minnesotagal says:

    Absolutely! It is a massive contrast. I get such a kick out of the differences that life in Manila brings…

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