Krakow, Poland

Polish bread can be quite solid, unless you go for sliced bread, which I will now after slicing my finger this morning and ending up in a Polish hospital. The taxi driver took me to one place, which was a bit like a hospital, but not really. It was a back entrance. A guy with short cropped hair was standing outside smoking a cigarette. When he’d finished his cigarette he went in side, put on some surgical gloves and peeled the toilet paper off my finger. Blood dripped on the floor. He bandaged up my finger and told the taxi driver to take me to another place, which was a hospital, though building works were going on there. Through a couple of corridors there was a small packed waiting room. The taxi driver pushed his way to the front and gave my EHIC card to the nurse. There was some discussion in Polish. The taxi driver told me we’d have to wait a few minutes. There was someone else there who spoke English. He was with a couple of French women, one of whom told me they were first in line then I would be next. All the other people were waiting for a different doctor.

Across the corridor from the waiting room, behind some netting due to the building works, was the hospital chapel. It was empty.

The doctor arrived, the French women and their translator went in and came out quite quickly. Then I went in. I asked if I’d have to pay anything. I asked if I would have to pay anything and was told no, the British government would pay.

After that there wasn’t much communication. In another room I lay down on a table and watched the doctor get a syringe ready. Without any warning he stuck it into my finger. Looking at my contorted face he smiled and said “pain?” I nodded, but then my finger went numb and I didn’t feel the stitches, but I did feel the nurse sticking a needle into my arm on the other side, also without warning. That caused pain as well.