Jul 1, 2011

Bible studies (2)

Lying on the ground with a broken leg in the pouring rain, crying for help while the Swiss Frank keeps co-tourists out of the country --- such were the dire specs of our first Bible Studies cliff hanger.

Relax. Arch Angel Gabriel hears our call, and appears in the emanation of Linda, the girl next door. She calls the ambulance (# 144, Swiss-wide,  they would also know your location if you call from a cell-phone),  while we find shelter under the roof of a neighboring chalet. The sun breaks through the clouds, we sit down in a plastic garden chair. Our tired, broken legs are now dangling in the late-afternoon sunshine. We think philosophical thoughts but feel no pain.  Linda prepares a cup of hot peppermint tea. It’s the first time we break something, the first time we will be doing some time in a hospital. Our life will never be the same.

The ambulance is delayed, delayed, but two sturdy men finally arrive and put me on a walking chair and heave me up the slippery, treacherous path towards the rescue vehicle. Rich, antique Romans were carried that way by their slaves, and we feel the fun.

At the hospital (“Spital Visp”) the reception nurse makes reassuring noises. The spital does the ski resorts of Zermatt and Saas Fee, she informs us, and broken legs are their specialty. An X-ray confirms the break. It’s the fibula --- if Google Translate is correct (“Wadenbein” in German). Now what? The Upper Surgeon (our translation of “Oberarzt”) is stuck in emergency surgery. She will decide. We will wait. (Perhaps we forgot to mention that all this is happening on a Saturday night?)

Dr. Ursprung (with colleagues), shortly before we drop the bomb

The Oberarzt, a petite blonde, arrives 2 hours later, around 9pm. She speaks perfect German with a perfect Polish accent, and she’s tired. A tag on her left bosom features her picture and her name: Dr. Eva Ursprung. Ursprung --- that means “origin” in English. “Ursprung,” I say to her in German, perhaps not fully cognizant of the situation, “Ursprung, that would be a nice name for a philosopher.” Her face darkens. Her mouth drops. Her eyes close. The end of the world is near.

Stay tuned.

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