Turns out I've been walking around with a fractured elbow for 4 days, but I'll come to that....
Now where were we?
Ahhh yes, in the back of a taxi en route to a hospital in Kracow.
Upon our arrival the driver gestured for us to wait in the cab whilst he went in to talk to someone. A few minutes later he came out and started babbling away to us, pointing over the road. One of the girls followed him over to what turned out to be a pharmacy with one of those security windows that 24hour petrol stations have, and on the other side of the glass a lady in a white coat started chattering away to the driver and pointing to another building. We all sloped over there, teeth chattering in the cold, between giggles and whispers of "what the hell is going on?".
A couple of doors down the road was what I assume was a small doctors surgery with an emergency department. It was empty. The taxi driver ushered me in behind him and found a member of a staff, who eyed me disdainfully with that look only worthy of a drunken English girl abroad. She and the taxi driver then started arguing right over the top of me, angrily gesturing back towards the other places we had just come from. Another lady stuck her head round a door and joined in the debate whilst we tried to work out what was happening. It became clear that nobody wanted to deal with me, the taxi driver wanted to get back to work and my arm was STILL hanging off. "Start. Crying!" One of the girls muttered through clenched teeth. "I. Can't!" I muttered back, and with that, started to laugh.
The argument came to a climax and the taxi driver stomped off with the two women still shouting after him. We jogged along behind, trying to keep up, as he crossed the road and pointed to the little hospital we went to first, indicating that he was about to leave us.
Inside a reception area, a man sat behind another security window stirred from a light slumber and raised his eyebrows at the sight of me tip-toeing around in a mini skirt with my arm held rigid in front of me.
In broken English-slash-sign language he directed us over to a waiting room, which was empty save for two police officers loitering by a coffee machine and a man seat quietly. He indicated that I should bang on the door, so I did, and was greeted by a scrubbed-up woman who tentatively opened the door just enough to expose her head and shoulders and eyed me up and down, looking surprised at my arrival.
"Do you speak English?" I asked.
I didn't understand her reply but there then ensued another rumble from which I understood that yes, this was the casualty department but they would not see me. I had no idea why and was starting to get a bit exasperated now since it was pretty obvious, to me anyway, that my arm would shortly need amputating.
"Excuse me lady?" Comes a quiet voice from the seating area.
"YES!" I sighed happily at the sound of my mother tongue.
"You must sit and wait" he said. The two police officers stirred.
"No, they said they won't see me. But look at my arm! I need an Xray!" I pouted.
"No, no, no. Just sit. You wait. maybe one hour, maybe two. Sit!" he explained. The police officers eyed him cautiously and nodded in agreement.
The Po Po were now sitting down so we took a pew opposite them and one of them nodded his head in the direction of my arm.
"I fell down some steps!" I announced proudly, making a rolling gesture with my good arm, followed by a "splat" sound.
He laughed. They seemed to be in good spirits and we managed some basic conversations about where we were from, what we were doing, etc, and they were highly amused by the tale. Every so often the chap sat near me piped up with a question and when the Police kept shhhhing him and talking to him sternly, the penny finally dropped that he was under their custody. Apparently the handcuffs went unnoticed by us.
"Don't talk to him. He criminal" they informed us.
Well, AS IF...
"Are you a criminal?" I enquired?
"Yes" he nodded with a smile on his face.
"What did you do? Have you been naughty?" I asked.
He pointed to his head.
"You're crazy?" I asked
"Yes! Yes! Crazy!" He laughed.
"Well, aren't we all!" I laughed.
We passed some time chatting with them, and cheekily asking if they would pose in some photos with us. The criminal very kindly agreed to be photographed with one of our "Hen Nigh Scoring Cards" which we had still in our possession, and one of the girls bought him a coffee.
Eventually he was escorted into the treatment room and we were left on our own in the waiting room, taking a catalogue of photos of my crooked elbow, and still laughing at the comedy of the whole situation.
Someone who spoke good English appeared and told me I needed an Xray, so I was lead off to the room, still carrying my mobile and just told to balance my arm on the table underneath this giant machine. I couldn't stretch it out so had to squat into an amazing position just to get it at the right angle for the Xray.
"Errrr.... should I put my phone somewhere?" I asked nervously. It was currently in my hand right beneath all the equipment.
They scrunched up their noses and dismissed the suggestion as crazy. As soon as they got behind the door I threw it like a grenade as far away from any machinery as I could manage.
Back in the consultation room, the adrenaline was starting to wear off and I realised what a total tit I am, since this sort of thing happens to me all the time. I suddenly realised I didn't have a clue what was going on, I had no money, and actually, my arm was hurting quite a lot. I started to cry silently, feeling mightily sorry for myself (blame the vodka). "I'm such an idiot!" I lambasted myself. Why did this always happen to me?
"Don't cry!" came a voice, the doctor had spotted me. I looked away in the other direction, wiping the tears away, unable to stop myself from crying and noticed the two police officers looking over at me. They both caught my eye and smiled at me sympathetically which made me cry even more.
Suddenly, the man who I previously assumed was unconscious, or even dead, on the bed next to me sat bolt upright, wires and pipes all hanging out of every orifice, and chirped "Drink Polish medicine! WODKA!", then lay back down again.
With that, everyone started laughing and normality was resumed.
Jesus, this is going on forever. Lets wrap it up, shall we?
They said it wasn't broken and then prescribed me a load of drugs which I had to run to the pharmacy over the road to collect, and then come back to have something injected into my bum cheek. It's still currently working its way through the rump and I expect in about a week I'll experience some immense pain relief out of the blue.
I left with my arm in a sling and we caught a taxi back to the apartments and went to bed.
Naturally I have not stopped talking about it since and lapping up all the attention. This was compounded further yesterday by the discovery that it is actually broken and I am now wearing the most LUDICROUSLY MASSIVE CAST KNOWN TO MANKIND. I have to go to the fracture clinic tomorrow so I'll know more then. I'm a touch worried about the stray piece of bone that is just floating around in my elbow vicinity but I suppose I'll find out tomorrow if that's going to be a problem.
In the meantime, Mr G is looking after me very well and has even relinquished his side of the bed for me. I'm not looking forward to telling him I need some help washing my hair in a minute though... I can't go another day looking like this!
Enjoy the pics. Please, laugh away. We did.