Its enough to give you high blood pressure
We finally sailed from Barcelona on the 30th of November, two days later than scheduled. The drydock had over run for various reasons and this now meant we would miss two ports, Valetta in Malta, and Alexandria in Egypt. Now I am sure many off you will remember my fondness for Egypt and its culture and will realise how disappointed I was to miss an Egyptian port.
Still we had 3 other ports in Egypt so ample time to catch up on sleep.
Jordan, however I do like. Not the busty bimbo type, the middle eastern country type. We had one day in Aqaba on our journey east and I spent most of the morning in hospital. Don’t concern yourself too much, it was for my bi-annual medical exam nothing more sinister.
The port agent collected me and 4 of my colleagues at 10.30am off we went to the “Aqaba Modern Hospital” I have used the quotes to emphasis a visual oxymoron. Fortunately no needles, blood tests or other potentially skin breaking procedures were required so I didn’t concern myself to much with the state of the place.
In the UK, the seafarers medical is called the ENG1. Its pretty basic, piss in a cup, weight, blood pressure, breathing eyes, ears, just a general look over. It costs about £80 so when I was informed my Jordanian medical would be $100 it expected a similar if not higher standard of examination.
So I was called into the examination room and was greeted by a doctor who clearly had an allergy to shaving. He shook my hand introduced himself and invited me to sit on the bed. After asking me five questions, did I drink, smoke do drugs etc he run a stethoscope lethargically somewhere in the vicinity of my lungs and then took my blood pressure.
“your blood pressure is high” he told me, “check for 4 days and if it is still high you will need to take medication”
No account was taken of the fact I was sitting in a very awkward position on the bed or that he did not extend my arm fully to do the test. However I am inclined to concur with his prognosis, after all who wouldn’t have high blood pressure after paying $100 to answer 5 questions.
To celebrate passing my medical I wandered off to Gloria Jeans coffees shop, where I drank two caffeine laden cappuccinos whilst googling on the wifi the common causes of high blood pressure. Oddly enough high caffeine intake was one of them.