So my latest accomplishment will require some background information, a brief history of my health insurance travails in the country, if you will.
About two years ago I moved from Jerusalem to Ramat Gan in order to start university there. Two months after moving in, I got sick and realized that I''d need to find a new branch of the Meuchedet health insurance company in my area. I called the hotline and asked to see a doctor nearby. The woman on the phone assigned me to Dr. Svetlana Insert-Very-Russian-Sounding-Name-Here. This is not a rant against Russians, they are very nice and bright people. Unfortunately, their native language is Russian, and mine is English, and we’d have to communicate in Hebrew. A lot would get lost in translation.
Don’t you have like a Dr. Harry Wilson or something? I asked.Not unless you want to wait another two weeks.Okay, okay, Svetlana it is.I showed up for my appointment on time, knocked on her door and was let in. Who are you? Sveltlana asked. I’m Rachel, your nine o’clock appointment. She glanced at the clock on the wall, saw it was nine, and then wistfully at the bag of rugalach she had been happily devouring before I showed up. Can you come back in another five minutes?Five minutes later, I’m ready to go in but an old man smacks his cane into my leg and beats me to the door. When he walks out, I go in. She’s still working through the rugalach. We start talking about why I’m there and I quickly realize that we could probably both use a crash course in Hebrew anatomy because we ended up resorting to charades in order to communicate. But that’s okay, I like charades. She ends up giving me a referral to have some tests done and hands me a number to contact in order to schedule them.The hotline lady explained to me that two I was able to do at that same branch my doctor works at, but for the last one I would have to go to Rechov Sh-something.I’m sorry can you repeat that?Rechov Shbeffler.Shbleffler?No, Shpebbfler.Shpebbfler? No, Shpevettler!Shpevettler?Listen, just look it up on a map.But how? I don’t know what name to look up.Just look it up.
From my past experiences with Meuchedet, I already knew there was no point in arguing further. Hotline ladies are like goddesses of all trivial things. They control you by controlling little pieces of information you can’t function without. Like the name of the street they''re located on. I tried searching Google Maps for the various spellings, but after five minutes of trying every consonant combination I could think of, I got really frustrated and wondered if other people also find themselves in similarly ridiculous situations. (I’m sure they do, right?)
Suffice to say, I didn''t figure out the correct street name, and ended up getting the test done at a different branch with a more reasonable sounding title.
Now back to the present: I called Meuchedet to ask to see a specialist. Sure, she said, the earliest appointment open is at Rechov Shpetvit.
Wait, I cried, just hold on a moment! What was that name?
Shprintsak was the name. She spelled it out for me, bless her soul. I plugged it into my map application on my smartphone and walked over to the branch. As I gazed up as the building, a warm feeling overtook me, a feeling of achievement but also a feeling of familiarity. As if, somehow, after two years of nomadic wandering, some proverbial circle had suddenly been completed and life had begun to make sense. Like the clinic on Shprinsak represented the very essense of my destiny, my journey. Hallelujah, I thought, I am finally home.