Developed an uncomfortable skin rash in a rather private area. It was a while before the onset of rainy season in its prime, still quite hot and also rather humid. It did seem to be a product of sweaty inner leg being in contact with sweaty you know what too much of the time, especially as I was still often using shorts as underwear then – but still, one can never be sure…
Off to BNH, which is within easy walking distance in my case, they had the grace to overlook the fact that in my somewhat nervous state I had neglected to bring along an ID, even if it was not exactly an emergency – perhaps the fact that I had my passport number memorised did help. Registered and patient card issued, without a hitch.
The doctor happened to be a lady who was very obviously not Thai (perhaps Indian?), and spoke (and understood) perfect English. As long as they are a good doctor, no issues at all normally, but in this particular case, how doubly embarrassing! Her no doubt informed opinion was to the effect that my self-diagnosis was basically correct, and I got an ointment to apply to the afflicted area, which must have worked, since the problem went away after a while. It came with written instructions on usage in, again, perfect English
Given the circumstances behind the unease, I was also advised to take some STD tests, which upon agreement were administered promptly. Results from the blood sample analyses were in within an hour.
All in all, despite having no bookings, waiting times were minimal, prices were perhaps a bit on the pricey side by local standards but still very reasonable, and everyone was very polite and considerate, as well as thoroughly efficient and professional.
Phyathai Hospital 1
This does not concern me directly so it is not all that apparent whether it should even be included.
A girl shagged me willingly when she was most likely having her period, which not surprisingly resulted in some bloodshed. She insisted that it was "jep maak maak", made sure that she had rubber-stamped the image of her pussy on the sheets, possibly to remind all the condo staff who the rightful owner of the bed and its occupant was, called the hospital to make an appointment, and off we went.
She would have preferred to go alone ("Gap kon dtaan-chaat, tuk kon kit waa, chan puying mai dee" sort of thing), but I went with her, partly out of genuine if sceptical concern, and more to show her that I was not buying into these "creative ways of asking for money" sort of things.
Duly placed in a wheelchair with a blanket thrown over her on arrival, she was wheeled off to whatever transpired after a short wait.
The supposed costs were minimal, and not so far from what she had wanted in the first place (clever girl). Were the people in the hospital so incompetent and unprofessional as to buy her BS then?
I would strongly suspect not, they were quite aware of what was going on, but as all good Asians do, they were saving her face by not exposing her "dtaw-lae", and at least by their standards mine also by pretending not to notice that I was keeping a less than straight "mia-gep".
In the end, she left behind the medications she got out of this interaction in my room as a sort of tacit admission of her own BSing, as she was wont to do.
Yanhee General Hospital
This is also a bit disqualifying, a Thai girl did all of the arrangements and also accompanied me the first time for the surgery, but not for taking out the stitching.
The plastic surgery division was upstairs, and we got there on time for the appointment. There was a large reception counter, a general waiting area, and also chairs in the corridor for people who were just about to be called.
Some of the staff had fluent English, and even if not, they were quite clear about what was deemed necessary, and more than helpful in addition. The doctor was quick to ascertain what was required, and methodical but speedy about figuring out how to go about it.
Waiting times were reasonable, no English reading materiel, but pamphlets, and name cards of all the physicians just in case you needed to get in touch with them afterwards, in Thai and English, were available in the waiting area.
Admittedly there was a "How can we all be so laid-back?" moment when, even though I had told the doctor that I was wearing contact lenses, and had been instructed to keep them on now but remove them before surgery, it had seemingly not gotten through the system, and all baggage had been checked in for safekeeping while out, anaesthetics had been applied already, when I suddenly noticed, "Hang on, I have to get these off and properly stored before I fall unconscious!", as it were, but otherwise nothing all that serious. Mostly it turned out okay.
On departure I was issued with the appropriate medicines and ointments, and a sheet of clear instructions in Thai and decent if not perfect English, on what to do and expect during the next six months.
Although not to a drastic extent, and perhaps not for non-selective and critical treatment, they do have double-pricing for foreigners and locals.
An amusing and human aside was, the girl who took me there was quite attractive, more in a general Asian sense, rather than a uniquely Thai way of being good-looking. Our presence seemed to generate quite a lot of excitement, with many of the nurses scurrying around whispering things which seemed to include a lot of "kao suay" and some such other. Furthermore, in the doctor's office, on glancing around for some reason – I was understandably somewhat more concerned about what was going to happen to me, rather than what was going on around me, but I must have wanted something in my bag, which she was keeping for me – I found her blushing and insisting "peuan" to the nurses in the room. Well, what to make of that is anyone's guess.
On top of that, when I went a week later to have the stitches taken out and the general conditions diagnosed, the practical things went smoothly, what with my being told to "lie down" and the nurse taking a pair of tweezers and pulling the threads out and all. However, uninjured middle-aged men seem for whatever reason to be a rare and endangered species in a plastic surgery ward, and upon exiting the doctor's office after a final check-up, notified of the heart-warming information that all was going well and that I could now act like normal, I was greeted with (in some cases literally) open-mouthed stares from a row of Thai girls waiting in the corridor. Should one be grateful for the attention?
Happily, as of now, that's it.