he: “I’ve even made going to the soa [Dutch for std] clinic fun.”
me: “You’ve taken me places I’ve never been before.”
So there I was, waiting in line outside an std-clinic, plain for all to see, looking like I had finally joined the beautiful people.
You see, my friend has this theory, that only the beautiful people go to that clinic, seeing as the popular ones are the only ones that actually got some action over the weekend. The crowd seemed to consist mostly of men of a certain sexual orientation (yeah, my gaydar is pretty good – and they weren’t testing it very hard), women of a certain profession and college kids.
We passed the time texting his boyfriend (who had to be elsewhere that day, he did get tested too, the poor thing had an even longer wait than we did) about a famous singer we had supposedly met in line – I even took it so far as to send him a text message saying I was too embarrassed to ask his autograph – and discussing the helpfulness of having people stand in line outside in plain sight. It’s not exactly something you’re going to endure unless you really have to (unless you’re me) and thus not very helpful in trying to make people get regular checkups.
When the nice guard came back to open the door and let us in we were first directed to a ticket counter much like the booth at a cinema or a theater. The lady there was handing out numbered tickets from different series (marked by letters) acoording to the reason for being there (regular std test, follow-up treatment, results, check-up, you get the idea).
She assumed I wanted one too and my friend thought that was very funny. He was having a lot of fun imagining me trying to convince a doctor that I really caught it from the toilet seat!
And then we sat and waited. And waited. It was another half an hour before they started doing something and even then it wasn’t much. Finally one of the Lithuanian (that’s what my friend decided they were, although he slipped and called them Romanian a few times too) hookers got called. She returned pretty quickly, carrying some papers.
The waiting room had six flat-screen monitors on the walls, giving information and listing the numbers being called, together with the room number they were expected in. This caused my friend – who was already bored after waiting outside – to remark they might have spent less on their IT budget and more on actual treatment. In fact, after a while they stopped letting people in, or rather the little box office was closed and no more tickets were handed out.
I should explain that this clinic opens in two two-hour periods on weekdays and they adhere to a strict full-is-full policy. When my friend got to see a doctor he asked her if there were quieter times so he could keep that in mind. She said that knowledge would be worth a lot of money, if she knew.
All three of the working girls were called in and then returned to the waiting area in quick sucession. Then it seems the staff went on a break. Thanks to the infoscreens I figured out that this was some sort of registration process, which everybody had to go through before being called, but the lull and the fact that they hadn’t been seen for their tests was worrisome.
(I'll finish this later, right now the one glass of wine I had is going to my head, proving I'm much more tired than I thought.)