Week 4: a call to India, long office hours, fights with neighbours and pneumonia

Yup, that almost summed up my week. For those who are interested in my thesis progress, we are in the middle of collecting data for our research.  Our study is based solely on interviews and we did quite a few so far.  Don’t ask me about the subject because I do not want to bore you.  One word – taxes.  Are you already asleep?

Well, I am not.  I was the one who once announced that I loved the U.S. taxes and now I am the one who is writing about transfer pricing and loving every bit.  We previously interviewed people in Sweden but this week we had to do our first phone interview with a head of production site in India, so I set up a video conference with a camera.  Well, guess what?  Our sound quality was fine but what I did not foresee was that the quality from India might not be as good.  We couldn’t hear him through the video at all, so we ended up using the camera on the computer for the view but the phone on the speaker for the sound.

I also did not foresee that we might have trouble understanding the Indian manager.  We previously interviewed Swedes who spoke very good English, so that was our first heavily accented interviewee.  In addition, he was very reserved and didn’t want to talk about himself, which is part of our interview!  We found out that he has worked for the company for 39 years and I was so excited to learn so much about his experience.  But instead, he was very brief: he worked in one production site and now he is a head of another. Huh, that’s all?  It is an obvious cultural difference compared to our previous interviewees who were not shy to talk about themselves at all!

So that was exhausting and I still need to go through the recording and transcribe everything.  Wish me luck!  Then the next day was my working day and I showed up in the office.  As usual, I always have to catch up with all my emails and check whether everything was done correctly because we were approaching the month end and started the financial reporting. And since so much work needs to be done I ended up working 10 hours again.  Then on the following day the closing hit with a full swing and it was hectic as usual.  Only this time it is a quarterly closing instead of just monthly so it has much more work involved.  Getting 50 emails a day doesn’t help either!

In the meantime, I got some notes in my dorm.  Since we live in a corridor where we all share one kitchen, there has been lots of disputes over cleaning.  I can tell that it is an ongoing problem because we always get lots of bad feedback from the caretaker or whoever does a supervision.  So apparently my room number was on the board for the cleaning last week and I didn’t realise that until the weekend.  On Sunday I cleaned a whole kitchen and for some reason a few days later I got an anonymous message that I did no cleaning at all.  So we ended up messaging each other back and forth… basically arguing on the public board.  And I am not very happy with a person’s cowardness to stay anonymous.  Everyone seems to be so nice here, why can’t he or she just tell me in person if I did something wrong??  Well, Swedes don’t usually like confrontations but our corridor is full of foreigners and one of them, even though polite, is being very aggressive (with the messages on the board).  Don’t you have a life besides checking who missed some spot in cleaning?

Oh right, pneumonia.  So yes, I have been coughing 4 weeks now and two weeks ago I went to City Akuten (a very popular emergency private clinic) where you can just show up.  I paid a hefty fee (in my opinion) of 400 sek which is equal to about 50 euros and waited for 2 hours in a queue.  What is the most annoying is that they keep moving you in four different places and each time you think “now I will get to see a doctor” to be disappointed and moved to another room/corridor/seat again.  Lucky me, I recognized the doctor from seeing her a year ago and I should have known then.  So in total she spent 3-5 minutes talking to me and basically concluding that it is a season and everyone is sick.  Geez, I knew that much!  Perhaps I should open a clinic myself.  Then she hesitantly offered me to take a blood test and I agreed.  Then back to the corridor, then to a laboratory, then once again in the corridor, and then back to the doctor’s room to be told that the result is +5.  Aha, and…? She said it wasn’t high enough for an infection but prescribed me a very strong cough syrup for my cough.  Ethylmorphine.  At that time I only heard “morphine” and could not understand why I would need it.  The pharmacy was closed by the time I left the clinic so I ended up getting home and googling the drug instead.  Wikipedia says… wait, what????

Ethylmorphine was invented in Germany at Merck in 1884 and was used as a weaker alternative to heroin for all indications

A weaker alternative to heroin???

As is the case with all narcotic analgesics, ethylmorphine is potentially habit-forming and can generate drug dependence of the codeine type

Ok great, then I might just get addicted to it.  No thanks, I am not dying, so I can live without it.

My advice: Don’t ever go to City Akuten.  It is a waste of money!

So now it has been 4 weeks since the start of my cough and I learned that I could see a public doctor for a half price.  At least I could see two (possibly) incompetent doctors for the same price.  Two for the price of one!  So I called to a few clinics around (one ended up being a private one without my knowing and the guy was very upset with me that I questioned the price, and basically hung up on me). But then I found a drop-in clinic close to the university on the very next day.  Once again you go and get a ticket for a queue but this time I could choose my own doctor by choosing a number with his/her colour.  For some reason everyone was choosing “green” and “purple” cards and no one wanted “blue”, so I picked the blue and ended up being the first in line.  I kept thinking whether it was a mistake and this guy is going to be completely terrible and that’s why no one wants him.  But I had to go to work and didn’t want to spend a half of a day waiting for “more popular” doctors.  In the end, my”blue” doctor actually ended up being very nice and very attentive, listened to all my stories about the mold in our apartment and the time 4 years ago when I had a terrible sinus and no one knew why and then he listened to my lungs  and determined that my right lung has pneumonia!

I was just happy to learn what’s wrong with me.  The blood test is still to come because my nice doctor forgot to call me with the results before the Easter holiday, so now I will have to wait till next week. I am already using antibiotics and drinking some cough syrup from a half of liter bottle.  Don’t ask me why it is a half of liter. But I googled the name and no heroin associated with and hopefully it is not too addictive.  Even after taking all medication, I still feel slightly like crap (forgive me my French), so probably I should go and lie down.

It is an Easter weekend with everyone in Sweden gone since Thursday so it is quiet in town. The next working day is Tuesday after the Easter Monday, so it will be a long weekend here. No Easter celebration for me (at this time) but I do not mind.  I will try to rest and do some reading as much as I can.  I do not have any Easterly picture so I will use the one that my mom sent me last year.  These are her beautiful eggs.  Happy Easter to all my friends and whoever is reading my babbling. xxx

Happy Easter~