Thursday, November 13, 2008

Poked, prodded and drained....but I've got mussels!

J'ai mange' des moules en lundi avec Dara. Mais, le garcon ne nous laisserait pas emmener les moules à la maison avec nous, parce qu'it' ; risque sanitaire de SA. Nous avons fait tellement de toute façon !

Ok, so just in case you don't speak French.....Dara and I went to a French restaurant the other day and we had mussels. They were delicious, but we couldn't finish them because they were so plentiful. The waiter told us that we are not allowed to take shellfish to go, because it's a health hazard. So we did a sneaky thing and pulled them from the shells and put them into the to-go container anyhow. (We had two containers....one for my left-overs and one for hers, but we consolidated so the mussels could go.) BTW, If anyone from that French place on Bleecker Street is reading, I know NOTHING!

Seriously, that buttery garlicky sauce that you dip your crusty french bread into is divine. And I love mussels (on my plate and on my men!)

On a Semester at Sea note, I had some of my inoculations yesterday at a doctor's office in Soho. MMR, influenza, Hep A & B (which I have to go for again next week- Dose 2), Tetanus, and Typhoid. And then I've got to get scripts for malaria and a patch for seasickness. Fortunately I don't really have to get yellow fever nor Japanese encephalitis. I had a total of five pokes, not including the pokes for drawing blood.

They drew four vials of blood, performed an EKG, a urine test, took my blood pressure, took my vitals, and weighed me for my physical exam. Needless to say, I was feeling a little woozy after leaving the doctor's office and my arms are *still* hurting today. *Although I am grateful for that ache, because that means I am going to be immune from disease on my trip. I would say the worst part of the physical exam was being weighed!

So I went back to my office and fortunately I didn't have any more appointments for the day. When I left to catch the train around 6, I was hoping no one would run into my arm. There is always a large crowd heading towards the PATH train and the subway between about 5:00 and 6:30....the lower Manhattan rat race. I am thinking all the way I hope no one bumps into my sore arms!

Lo and behold, the woman in front of me stops short causing me to stop and people to bump into me. Cursing under my breath, I looked over to the lady who stopped short.

Uh oh.

Her eyes were rolled back into her head and she was wobbling. I forgot about my own arms and reached out to catch her. She didn't faint, but she was close. We stepped away, out of the line of traffic and she took some deep breaths. She thanked me for taking the time to make sure she was okay and told me I was her angel. She had been having some medical complications lately, she told me. She also told me that she herself saw a man lying on the ground one day on Madison Avenue and he was having a heart attack so she stopped to assist, but she was the only one.

A true lesson of "what goes around comes around" for her. Because that's just what we humans do. We help one another. Or do we?........

Do you remember the story of Kitty Genovese? The woman brutally murdered in Queens in 1964, whitnessed by many of her neighbors (38 of them to be exact). When the attacker first caught up with her, she screamed, "Oh my God, he stabbed me! Help me!" and the neighbors did nothing. The murder prompted a psychological study about the lethargic and callous attitudes of onlookers. Reasons for this negligence include that onlookers see that others—actually or presumably- will know how to help better (not recognizing that nobody actually does help), and that onlookers feel insecure helping with others watching. In general, bystanders (or those walking through the rat race) are less likely to react when more people are present.

But I think that 44 years later things are a little different. I wonder if the passing of time and tragic events that have occurred in our world would change the results of this study? It reassures me that there is love in the big bad apple, after all. At least I think so.

And I'm grateful for my sore arms, vaccinations, angels, helpful strangers, muscles, and mussels.

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