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  The Chatter Box : Travel
My cousin - an international saga by sighthound on 11 May 2006 7:58am
I've been going nuts. My cousin Karen's surgery was two days ago, Bangalore time, and we hadn't heard anything. Her husband, Scott, was supposed to find an internet cafe as soon as she woke up and send off a message that we would distribute to all parties concerned. Well, I love Scott dearly and he's extremely intelligent and interesting but he's an old stoner with a huge ego that leaves him totally self-absorbed so the fact that other people are going crazy is not going to register in his consciousness.

This morning, I sent out a mass e-mail to see if ANYONE had heard anything. Nope. Nada. The four core members got together to see how we should proceed: me, the closest relative, Linda, the best friend, Mike, her employee (despite the fact he is a Republican), and biggins, a retired lawyer and totally weird person. Linda and I thought we should call the doctors since Karen had given us their phone numbers. Mike, with typical Republican sanguinity, said we should just wait. Biggins went off on this absolutely amazing rant in about a dozen e-mails insisting that we could NOT call the hospital since we have no legal standing and lawsuits could result. (This is the ....ing third world, dammit, and I don't think anyone is going to be cowed by American legal nicieties when concerned family members are making frantic inquires.)

So Linda and I finally got off by ourselves electronically and decided that we should contact the president of the Bangalore Soroptimists. Karen is the president of the Gualala Soroptimists. (Gualala is a tiny, tiny, tiny town, pop. less than a hundred, on the Mendocino, CA coast.) We discovered that the Bangalore President's English name is Margaret and her e-mail address was accessible through the Soroptimist database. Well, Margaret got into gear instantly, called Karen at the hospital, reported back to us that Karen is fine and Margaret will be visiting her today and bringing her food that will be tastier than the hospital fare. (Apparently, bad hospital food seems to be universal.) Isn't the internet wonderful???!!! The world is much smaller than it used to be. (And I've got to learn more about these Soroptimists!)

Re: My cousin - an international saga by perfectbitch on 11 May 2006 9:03am
Glad to read that you r cousinn is fine. It must have been really worrying. Linz
Re: My cousin - an international saga by suzulu on 11 May 2006 3:35pm
Pleased your cousin is OK! Thank God for the internet!
Re: My cousin - an international saga by peripatetically on 11 May 2006 6:54pm
What a relief!
Re: My cousin - an international saga by tucsonmike on 11 May 2006 8:40pm
Thank goodness for:
1. The power of the Internet.
2. She is doing well.
3. You were able to cut through the "red tape" of a bunch of nutcases and egos.
Re: My cousin - an international saga by sighthound on 13 May 2006 12:42am
Thanks everyone. We've finally re-established e-mail contact with Karen and she's doing very well. (Although the cancer had spread to the lymph nodes so she will have to have chemo when she comes home.)

Margaret, the Bangalore Soroptimist President, has been absolutely wonderful and the Bangalore and Gualala Soroptimists are now sister clubs. Despite having had a 10 hour surgery on Tuesday, Karen was hoping to be sprung from the hospital for a couple of hours on Saturday so she could attend a local Soroptimist meeting (my cousin is nothing, if not resiliant!) but it was cancelled due to a heat wave.

BTW, she said the medical care has been excellent and the nursing care couldn't have been better. Today, is International Nurses Day and Scott got a red rose for each nurse that had attended Karen and he had to buy a whole dozen.

All the nurses in Bangalore study in English but written only so they are very eager to learn how to pronounce "like a native". Karen is now doing her best to give them all proper Californian accents.

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