Miami is a unique city. I was reminded of this when I took my father to a couple different doctors last week. First stop was Mercy Hospital where my father had a 12:30 appointment at the medical facility overlooking the blue waters of Biscayne Bay. We entered the waiting room to see so many people waiting that there weren’t even chairs for us. We asked the receptionist if we had time to go to another wing of the hospital to pick up medical records. She said we should. We got back at 1:00 to see the same people waiting and the same lack of seats. We asked the receptionist what time the doctor would be ready to see him. 2:00 she said. So we went to Miami’s version of a hospital cafeteria, La Carreta. They had a location of the famed Cuban restaurant right behind Mercy Hospital’s lobby so you can have your arroz con pollo and Cuban coffee right before you get your heart checked out.
Back to the doctor’s office at 2:00 where we had two seats but a lot more time on our hands. We were called in at 3:15 for our 12:30 appointment. My father was weighed and then we were put in a room with a view of the water. The Doctor’s assistant came in. H took my father’s blood pressure and began asking questions. The only problem was he knew no English. It was the reverse of what I’d seen in LA at parent teacher conferences where the non-English speaking parent needed to bring a relation as an interpreter. My Dad needed subtitles to get his questions answered. We were brought to another room where we waited and waited and waited for the doctor. Finally at 4:30 in came Doctor Bling. He had a grey suit, pink tie, matching handkerchef hanging out of his breast pocket, heavy bracelet, golden ring, and expensive watch. He apologized for the long wait and explained if you want a doctor who looks this good you need to be patient.
My father was satisfied by the visit and so we left the office at 5:00. Again the waiting room was jam packed. In the corridor where more patients were waiting a woman asked, “How long had you been waiting?”
“You don’t want to know.” we both said. She insisted. So we told her, “12:30.” Her heart was broken so I let her know, “But his fashion sense makes the whole day worth it.”