doc w/ Pen

journalist + medical student + artist

Tag: shopping

Uganda, delivered

A “six-pack” (well, six loose bottles) of Club, a popular Ugandan beer, on my doorstep. It’s not a New England-style IPA. But as the saying goes: “When in Uganda …”

One of the things I love about New York City is that you can get just about anything delivered, with minimal or no extra charge. Groceries, alcohol, and take-out food of every ethnicity you can imagine are standard fare. I take advantage of the grocery services the most often, because I hate grocery shopping. I’d much rather someone else do it for me. I happily tack on a nice tip since they carry all my bags and boxes up the stairs to my fourth-floor walk-up apartment. (No elevator.)

To my surprise, there is grocery delivery here in Uganda, too.

Lately, I’ve gotten into craft beer. I’m pretty sure they don’t have IPAs here, but lager, yes. I’d run out of the Nile (a popular beer here) that we’d gotten in Kampala. I was told that Sandra, the housekeeper where I’m staying, could have beer brought to the guesthouse. I gave her 24,000 shillings (less than $7 USD), and about 30 minutes later, there was a guy ringing the bell at our front gate, carrying a box containing six bottles of Club (another popular Ugandan beer).

A couple of days later, I discovered we’d run out of milk. I prefer half and half for my coffee, but milk will do. I texted Sandra to bring some when she came to make lunch for us. She texted back that she’d send someone with it now. In less than 10 minutes, there was a man at the front door, carrying a little black plastic sack with two pouches of pasteurized milk inside.

Talk about service.

Preparing for what’s next

Being unprepared is one of my worst nightmares. Literally.

The dream takes different forms. Usually, I’m at school. I discover there’s a huge test I didn’t know about (and so didn’t study for). Or there’s a big assignment due, and I completely forgot about it.

I wake up from these dreams unsettled, because in real life, I make a point of being prepared. I know that in general, there are all kinds of things that I can’t control. So the things that are within my power, I try to manage as best as I can.

Nowhere is that more true than with my upcoming clerkships. So much in that realm is out of my hands. I recognize that. But certain aspects, I can prepare for. Like having everything I need in advance.

Living in New York City without a car, shopping can be a challenge. So I’ve tried to get some of that done more conveniently (and more cheaply) while here in Chicago visiting my family.

Jeans aren’t exactly appropriate for the hospital, so I needed more professional attire. And to take a patient’s heart and respiration rates, I needed a wrist watch. Thankfully, I think I’ve gotten everything I needed. Christmas sales made it all relatively affordable — certainly more so than in New York.

I did roll my eyes when my mom explained our shopping trip to a sales clerk at the local mall:

“My daughter came all the way from New York City to go shopping here in Chicago!”

But really, she was right.

I came here to see my family, of course. That’s my main priority. But I also came here to get ready for what’s next. To get in the right mindset for studying for Step 1, and to get what I need for clerkships.

At this point, I’m prepared for what I can prepare for. And the rest? I’ll handle that as it comes.