I starting coughing and aching on Sunday. Monday morning it felt like a truck had run me over some time in the middle of the night. I spent Monday morning playing phone tag with the parents of child I babysit, as well as calling every doctor in a 2km radius of my apartment. I was determined to switch to a new doctor after my last visit. But alas, the swine flu is just now hitting Germany and the doctor's offices are slammed. Except for my lovely doctor, who'd have guessed she'd have openings?
So I bundled myself down there yesterday and had my lungs listened to and nose looked at. She gave me three referrals for a swine flu test, a lung specialist, and an ENT. It was after 4pm by the time I left the swine flu lab, where they gave me face mask to wear and wouldn't let me touch anything. In fact the nurse commanded me to wear the mask all the way home and any time in public until my test results came back. Want to know how to get yourself lots of empty seats on the subway? Sit down wearing a surgical mask.
This morning I went back to crazy Frau Doctor to find out about the swine flu test. Instead she took two vials of my blood and told me to call back later. Eventually I got through and found out the swine flu test is negative, but since I'm still sick I need to go back and see the doctor again tomorrow morning.
On the upside, being sick has given me plenty of time to enjoy bizarre German television. Most of the programs are a mundane sort of reality TV, similar to their American counterparts only without fighting or drama. Most of the rest are "Krimi" detective type shows, either German original or dubbed American versions. I've only seen two sitcoms so far, a German version of "The Office" and a dubbed version of Fran Drescher's "The Nanny." Draw what inferences you will about the German sense of humor.
The best reality show is called "Mitten im Leben" (Middle of the Life?) about a mother fighting with her son's trashy new wife. The final straw came when they asked grandma to babysit while they got matching tattoos. They wanted Chinese symbols but their tattoo artist told them that wasn't cool anymore and suggested Buddhist symbols instead. Much cooler. Or as I learned from the TV today "total Klasse!"
But I must go now. "Goodbye Deutschland" is on, and that is my favorite. By the end of this week I'll at least know all the German jingles.