Friday, December 14, 2007

Oahu: Waikiki: Doctors on Call

Breakfast was at Eggs 'N Things, a highly recommended restaurant a few blocks from the Hilton; we would certainly add our endorsement. And we were lucky, arriving just before the big rush, so we hardly had to wait. The portions were huge, more than I can eat (rarely the case for me), and the choice of half a dozen different fruit syrups made the kids happy with their pancakes.

Tigana (and her friend Lisa Basil) went off for a surfing lesson, one of the highlights of the trip for Tigana. I don't have photos because my little digital pocket camera could not possibly pick them out on the ocean, but Lisa's dad tells me he got some good shots with his telescopic lens, so I'll add those here when I get them.

And then I sent Mary to the pharmacy for my medicine, only to discover my over the counter drugs were prescription in the US. So, I suddenly needed to see a doctor.

As this was after the conference, the Hilton's on-site clinic had already closed (4:30) so I asked where I could find the nearest clinic, and the night manager gave me the number for Doctors on Call.

This was a very slick operation. I phoned the number and the receptionist asked where I was staying and directed me to a bus stop on the Hilton grounds. Ten minutes later, a Doctors on Call van pulls up and drives me off to the clinic. Once there, I have to wait about an hour in an over-air-conditioned waiting room, but that's pretty much par for the course anywhere. The paperwork was very straightforward and I noticed them processing people in English and Japanese with equal ease. When the doctor saw me, it took him about 60 seconds to confirm that I needed my prescription, and before I could even ask where the nearest pharmacy was, they had already dispensed the drugs, processed my credit card, and had me back in the van and on my way back to the Hilton. I was pretty impressed. Every city needs one of these! If you have ever wandered around trying to find an after hours clinic in a strange city, you'll appreciate how brilliant it is having them come get you.

One side benefit of the round trip to the clinic was that I got to see a lot more of Honolulu after dark. We were mainly driving on the main thoroughfares, so I got a good sense of Honolulu night life, at least at street level, and my first impression was very positive. People seemed to feel safe walking around after dark, the lights were bright and inviting, and everybody seemed to be enjoying the party, as it were. Considering this was the middle of winter, I could get used to the casual short sleeve evening stroll. With the kids on this trip, that is about as much of Honolulu night life I was going to get to see.

Mary, meanwhile, had to manage the our kids plus the Basil's two kids, this being our turn to cover for the Basils as they ate out. Mary organized a pizza party for the four kids, then took them to watch the fireworks which I believe are a routine Friday evening event at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort. I got back in time to help tuck everyone into bed.

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