small travel – Go-Dog-Go- Cafe prompt: Haibun

It is a warm spring morning and the train from my quirky-looking station into town is new and shiny and smells new as I climb on board. My stomach is grumbling, and I am thirsty as – for once – I had been hoping to buy breakfast from the posh cafe that took up business in the station building a few years before the pandemic is closed, mid-morning. No sign that they will re-open? Have they fallen victim to the pandemic or people just opt to get their provisions cheaper elsewhere?

Getting off the train, I am grateful for my firm knee bandage that lets me step up and down without problems. I get a 500ml bottle of water from the shop in town and some provisions for later. Then I sit on the bus, gulping down my water: I am heading for a blood test and am under instructions to drink plenty before the appointment. Heading into the hospital building I notice, as I have for many years, the permanent state of dis-repair, making the main entrance of a major hospital in the country look like the back door for morgue and rubbish.

As I make my way through the hall my little bag with provisions bursts and I have a job to gather a few small items rolling on the floor and to put them back in my roll-on case holding my lap-top for work. From nowhere a youngish woman wearing a nurse’s aid uniform appears and gives me a hand. Kindness much appreciated.

After a short wait, my number is called to see the phlebotomist. The process of taking bloods is not easy in my case and I rely on my 67 years of getting to know my body and being a private patient on this occasion to be treated with respect. But in the dilapidated building that looks as if tired since the 1950s, and a system that was probably outdated then already, the little joy those women have working in one windowless room, scarcely divided into bays by curtains, is to be nosy and – to know better than the patient. In the end, having asserted myself on an empty stomach, I leave with a little plaster on the back of my hand – the only place where one can get blood out of my veins. Sitting at the bus stop in the sun, I have my breakfast while people-watching. Most people waiting seem at least a little down-at-heel.

A foreigner now, yet one

at home after 27 years –

glad of my European passport*


*As an EC citizen, resident in the UK with permanent right of residency, the author is not only a people-watcher by temperament, but an outsider, looking at England from the inside.

~ by Barbara S on April 27, 2022.

2 Responses to “small travel – Go-Dog-Go- Cafe prompt: Haibun”

  1. I also adore people watching!

  2. […] Entries on a vacationI absolutely adore reading about your days…thank you for sharing!solitary 4 tomorrow – in dialogue – Small Travel Ron S. – Forgone IsolationDavid [ben Alexander] – The wind, or: The wavesThe Bag Lady […]

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: