False starts, legal marijuana, and Maboneng

The Chalkboard Cafe, one of my favourite places in Maboneng.  Right next door to the Bioscope Cinema

The Chalkboard Cafe, one of my favourite places in Maboneng. Right next door to the Bioscope Cinema

Corner of Fox and Kruger streets,  Maboneng

Corner of Fox and Kruger streets, Maboneng

False start. More like no start. I’m still in Johannesburg, Gauteng. I didn’t leave early Saturday morning as originally planned because I don’t fancy the idea of driving all day cross-country and eventually arriving at that lovely seaside town that I’m going to call home for the next year, and not knowing where I’m going to sleep that same night. When I was applying for community service I made the decision that I was going to brave the doctors’ accommodation at whichever hospital I ended up going to. In the last few weeks I have been in conversation several times over the phone with an initially very helpful man (we’ll call him Mr John for the irritable purposes of this post) He has in the last couple of days stopped answering or returning my phone calls. This is just as I’m about to leave Jo’burg and I  need to know if I have a place to stay. He has subsequently referred me, via the superintendent’s secretary to someone else, to help me the day before I was set to leave for PE! Needless to say said person wasn’t answering her phone on Friday afternoon. I don’t really blame her, it’s the last day of the working week and the start of a long weekend.  I’ll bother her again on Tuesday next week. The bottom line though, is that I have no place to stay in PE, and I’m staying in Jozi for the moment…

Speaking of admin, yesterday I managed to get some done, at the offices of the Health Professionals Council of South Africa (HPCSA) in Pretoria. I handed in my completed intern logbook, and paid the required registration fee. I was then given an MP (medical practice) number. Effectively making me a registered medical practitioner,  capable of prescribing medications outside of the hospital I work at. My friends would love this! If I got a little bit of money every time one of my friends asked me to write them a prescription while I was still an intern, I think that I would probably be quite well off by now. I never did, because technically as an intern I couldn’t. It would normally lead to an intense discussion on medical ethics (or the lack thereof!). Now things are different, although there will obviously be no willy nilly prescribing to all and sundry, just more animated arguments on ethics. What does it say about the company I keep though (I had a good laugh about this, I’ll admit! 😛 ) that the first person (someone very close to me) I told about my new MP number, proceeded to ask me if I would be so kind as to write them a prescription for some legal marijuana?

What is very good about me still being in Gauteng,  is I get to spend quality time with some people that are very important to me,  and I get to hang out in my hood, the Maboneng Precinct, for a couple more days. Maboneng is an awesome gentrified little area made up of a couple of blocks on the east side of Johannesburg CBD. It has been home for the last couple of years and I absolutely love it. A couple of nights ago my girlfriend and I hung out at the Chalkboard cafe (a gem, pizza and craft beer!), and went to The Bioscope Cinema (yes it is really called that!) to watch an awesome new South African movie called Four Corners, really good, really intense, catch it if you can. These are just some of the things that I’ll miss about my Jozi when I eventually leave (that’s looking like Wednesday 30 April, maybe…)


2 days to go…

2 days to go. Day after tomorrow I pack all my belongings (not a lot of stuff, that’s for sure!) into my little Yaris and embark on a little 11 hour roadtrip from Johannesburg down to Port Elizabeth (PE) for my one year of community service.

After graduating from Wits Medical School in early 2012, and then spending the last 2 years working as a medical intern at Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital, apparently the second largest hospital in the world, the idea was to take it easy for the next year. Hence my choosing PE, in the Eastern Cape (EC). Eazy in the EC… that’s the idea, but practicing medicine at a public hospital anywhere in South Africa as far as I know, is anything but easy. So we’ll see how that goes.

As regularly as I can (I make no wishful promises with regards to that!) I will dot down a note or 2 about the day-to-day this-n-thats at my new hospital, and also my running, going around and getting to know Port Elizabeth, the artsy stuff (Grahamstown is just down the road!!!), and lots of other arbitrary stuff. Bear with me, a lot of what I write will be ordinary, and boring, but at least some of it 🙂 will be interesting.  I can [almost] guarantee that…

My place of work for the last 2 tears...

My place of work for the last 2 years, in Diepkloof,  Soweto…