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Published: November 10th 2017
I had a troublesome night last night. After returning to my hotel I first rang my cousin with an update. The specialist had informed me that he could book me in for surgery on Thursday. Tan (bless her cotton socks) encouraged me to get the surgery and keep going with my trip. I thought this would be good, if I could manage it, but I certainly had my misgivings
First things first, get the insurance claim started. I rang my travel insurance company, who were very helpful, however they did inform me that getting surgery in Paris was not necessarily an option. Apparently, its not automatic that I will get the treatment I wanted. This was something of a blow. What is the point of insurance if they cant help when you need it! They asked me to send through all my documentation from the docs office and my itinerary. I explained the medical stuff was in French but they said they would get it translated. They would need to assess my claim and get back to me in the morning (Aussie time) All good. After I got off the phone I thought, how the hell am I going to
scan and send my medical documents. Enter the ipad, God I love technology! Couple of attempts at getting clear pictures of the various doctors letters and we were away.
It was still too early to call the folks back in Oz so I decided to attempt a much needed shower. I must say I am quite impressed with myself. I managed to shower an towel dry one handed reasonably well. And if you could see the tiny bathroom I'm operating in I think you would be impressed too. Aside from the obvious, the bathroom is up two steps from the bedroom, and next to the tiled steps is a floor length smoked glass window. Coming out of that bathroom I had visions of slipping on the tile and falling through the glass down four stories. It's safe to say I'm feeling delicately unbalanced at the moment. After a very teary phone call to the folks, I carefully laid down to sleep. Amazingly I slept quite well, drama is good for the delta waves.
So onto today. I had nothing planned for the morning but I had to be back at the specialists office at 2 in the afternoon.
My hotel is only three streets from the Louvre, so I figured, the hell with it, I don't need hands to see artwork, I might as well. (And sitting in my hotel room crying is not an option) As I walked into the square my heart skipped a beat when I saw the glass pyramid. I was even more excited as I crossed the square to see the queue to get in was not that long....that was of course before I veered around it and realised it was actually snaking through guide ropes, and yes it actually was that long. Oh well, what else was I going to do with my morning. Waiting in line allowed me time to get a few happy snaps, including one with me in front of the glass pyramid.
Two things about this place that don't really hit you until you are actually there. 1) the Louvre is massive I spent all morning walking the halls and checking it out. I think I may have seen one tenth of it....actually that's probably an overstatement. 2) the Mona Lisa is tiny, not small....tiny! I'd heard it is smaller than you think, but seriously, that thing is tiny. It seems wrong that you have to muscle your way through a thousand tourists just to get a glimpse of such a little painting. I think they should put her up higher. I felt sorry for the other works of art, Mona gets all the glory, but they are just as beautiful. I loved the sculpture. It is fascinating. I saw a Greek exhibit and an Egyptian exhibit. At the risk of sounding like Ritchie Benaud, simply marvelous! One last thing, they let people take photos. I didn't because I didn't want to damage the artwork, and now I'm regretting that decision.
After the Louvre I stopped for a spot of lunch. I think I picked the worst cafe in Paris. The staff were lovely but the food....not so much. I ordered what I thought was a walnut and feta salad. What I got was a walnut and feta toasty with salad on the side. And not that tasty. So much for fine Parisian dining. After lunch it was another cab back to the specialist. I called the Allianz again to see if they had an answer for me. After all they were to be reviewing my case overnight. Much to my disappointment, there was no answer. What was I to tell the specialist? They suggested I book the surgery and then pull out later if it was a no go. The specialist was not happy with this. So they started proceedings to book me in the following week. Thank you Allianz for making life difficult. On the flip side, hats off to Paula and Daniel at the specialists office. Paula (specialist's PA) had the job of trying to get costs together for the insurance company and book me in. She didn't speak a word of english so Daniel, another PA, had to be our interpreter. Although he had his own work to do and had to keep running in and out of the office. They were so patient and understanding though, top notch.
On the way home I stopped to buy cigarettes. I walked into a convenience store. The clerk was having a friendly chat to a customer when I walked in. As I waited patently they stopped mid conversation Looked at me. I said hello then quickly followed with sorry, Bonjour. They both smiled and switched their chat to english. Oh these rude Parisians I thought and smiled to myself. I brought my ciggies and stopped for a quick chat, they were both just lovely. I walked out of the store and around the corner when I heard a voice calling behind me, mademoiselle, mademoiselle. I turned around to see the customer from the store waving the envelope containing my x-rays and medical stuff which I had left in the store. She chased me down the street and around the corner to make sure I got them back. I could not have been more grateful! Had she not done that I would have not chance of finding that store again. Yeah, Parisians are just awful.
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