Thursday, August 21, 2008

Yesterday I decided it was time to do a long overdue good deed. I was down near the hospital anyway, so I went to register as a blood donor. Since I’ve been paying regular healthcare contributions and indeed receiving regular healthcare here for a number of years now, I thought this would be no problem. In fact, although my experience of any kind of official institution here had warned me not to expect red carpet treatment, I thought that given the number of posters around town calling for new blood donors, my contribution would be at least reasonably welcome.

Not so. I announced my intention to the nurse at reception, who told me that I was too late to register that day (i.e. it was after 1 pm), but that I could read through the conditions and then fill out a form when I returned to register properly. On the way out I decided to check out the list of factors excluding persons from giving blood, just to be sure. I mean, I’m of a corresponding age and weight, I’m in reasonably good health, but still, best to be on the safe side. Sailed through the first few points … never suffered from toxoplasmosis, syphilis (oh please, what do you take me for?), not an alcoholic... no way, not by Czech standards. Wait a minute though… anyone who spent more than 6 months in England or France between 1980 and 1996 is disqualified?? Having spent almost the entirety of that period in England I was a little put out by this. Could this be true? I went back to the nurse, explaining my position. She called a doctor just to check and then assured me that unfortunately yes, I was disqualified from giving blood. Why? Due to mad cow disease, regardless of the miniscule number of humans who’ve contracted it, and despite the fact that it has subsequently been detected here. I suppose it’s another of those things I can blame on Thatcher, the horrible bitch. My blood is reject. In the Czech Republic I’m officially regarded as belonging to a sub-race.

Going to watch the football in the evening, in which a dismal England were lucky to scrape a draw against a superior Czech Republic, even if it was only a friendly, did little to bolster my sense of national pride, or to erase the haunting image of cattle from my brain. Managers come and go, but that bovine lack of inspiration that pervades the England team is perennial. We deserved to lose, and in some ways I wish we had, even if it would have made my life here miserable for the foreseeable future. Nothing at all has changed, and I’m starting to despair of it ever doing so. Evidently my fellow countrymen felt similarly. At the final whistle the herd of English fans, not at all fooled by our late, scrappy equaliser, expressed their view of the performance with the only appropriate response:



Blogger TONA said...

hahahahaaaaa imagine if you told them
that you have been in serbia...twice!! Why, Dear Sir, your blood is pure poison! ahh the good ole communist boureocracy, how i respect them with Respect! You shell
learn that with time you pommie goodytwoshues!

6:07 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home