Fear. Anger. Relief.

There is a coffee machine and it’s plugged in but there are no cups. The porter is Indian. He doesn’t know, or I think care, what I’m asking for.

Hospitals are all the same. Wherever you are. A government hospital in False Bay or a MediClinic in Bergvliet or, where I sit now, three floors below the Dubai airport.

It was an eventful flight. Traumatic. I don’t think I was breathing but I must have been because I managed to shout for help. Over and over.

The guy sitting next to her clasped her wrist.

“Her pulse is strong, it’s okay”.

I heard him but I didn’t.

I cannot tell you the relief that swept through me when a man introduced himself as a doctor. A South African doctor. An accent I knew, I trusted. If you ever meet this doctor, buy him a bottle of Bells and send me the bill.

She was alright by the time we landed.

By that point I had shouted at two Asian women and an Indian boy. Fuck, people are morons.

She was loaded into an ambulance, the drip still attached to her hand, and driven away from the airplane. We followed, first in the wheelchair van with two elderly people. Then on foot.

Our guide indicated we should walk ahead. As if we had a goddamn clue where we were going.

We watched her be driven away in an ambulance, in a foreign country, and this guy wants to have a chat to his friends.

He redeemed himself just in time, just before I lost my temper for the fourth time. He found us a lift on an airport golf cart. I hadn’t said a word yet but I think my german face was saying everything I hadn’t.

And of course my father’s accent.

And now we sit. And we wait. She’s fine again, we’ve seen her and she’s okay.

But jesus christ.

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