I fucking hate going to the doctor. I hate it in America and I hate it in Japan. I hate Japanese clinics especially. I have National Health Insurance and I don't know if I'm just going to public health clinics or what but every time I go to a clinic in Tokyo it looks like some fucking neglected bankrupt funeral home chapel entryway or something. They're not dirty at all, they're just really run-down with peeling wallpaper, low lighting, old carpets, and more often than not, faded artificial flowers, just like, you know, the ones in cemeteries.
I don't know why I'm so outraged by this, I mean I'm always preaching the grunge... maybe it's just that in a country where you can't get a cup of coffee without 5,000 watts of fluorescent light blasting down to prove how clean the tables are (and how marked your blemishes) you would think that any place offering any kind of medical care would at least keep the paint fresh. Maybe when I'm sick and miserable enough to go to the doctor I want to feel like I'm actually in a medical facility, not some sketchy old cat lady's parlor. This is like the fifth time I've been to one of these clinics and they are easily the five dingiest looking places I have seen in Japan. That's counting dive bars.
And every time you get sick in Japan they're like GO TO THE DOCTOR GO TO THE DOCTOR! Then you go to the doctor and here's what happens.
Doctor: What's the matter?
You: [wheezing in your face-mask, swaying in your chair, eyes half-lidded, voice raspy] I have a fever of 39.5, chills, my throat is really swollen and it hurts to swallow, my body is aching, I have terrible nausea, I'm super tired, it hurts to move...
Doctor: Sooo, you caught a cold!
You: Ummm, well there's a big flu outbreak where I work, so...
Doctor: Ah! Let me look at your throat. Ah, yes. Very swollen. Okay! So I will give you some medicine for fever and throat pain. Please wait a moment.
You: ...okay, well, I can't go back to work if it's the flu, so do you think it's the flu?
Doctor: Oh, sure.
Then you pay like $14 for a bunch of little paper bags full of pills that you have to take three at a time three times a day for five days or something.
Is this just like, the experience I'm stuck with if I'm using National Health Insurance? Or can someone recommend a good place for regular medical care in Tokyo?