An irregular, irreverent, post-modern account of the surreal, the ordinary, and the bizarre happenings on and around the Felia lavender farm in Crete

Monday, April 16, 2007

I see

We went to the optometrist today - or the ophthalmologist. Now that we are getting on we have regular MOT (KTEO) tests done on ourselves to ward off the medical bogeyman and to work out what servicing needs doing. Today it was time for the eye doctor. G had sought out this eye doctor in Rethymnon a couple of years back but this was my first visit. I was initialy prescribed specs before we decamped to this blessed isle - one set for reading and another set for driving - so, mister six eyes or would that be eight?. Anyways we took the bus into Reth and got along to the eye doctor after a quick pitstop at the vets' for worming tablets. No appointments are possible - you simply turn up and wait. Surgery closes at 2 and if you have been seen fine - if not, come back tomorrow. The waiting room was full of old scrotes, male and female - and I do mean full. Bloodshot eyes, rheumy eyes, old eyes, eyes behind spectacles so thick that their eyes double in size. The receptionist is heavily pregnant and seems to spend all day watching daytime Greek TV. Hell, everybody is watching this thing! Loud, bright, and pointless - like most TV.

Over time the number of people before us in the queue diminishes but the queue itself does not. I pop out now and then to top up on nicotine. By the time there are only three people in front of us caffeine levels in my bloodstream are getting perilously low too. I go out for another fag. Soon it is our turn. In order to set expectations I have to explain that this office is on the first floor of a shabby looking block behind the clinic/hospital. The next office is that of an oil importer and it looks as though somebody dropped off some product samples recently - onto the floor. But when we are ushered into the surgery I am amazed - this man has more kit than the hopital ophthalmology department at St George's Tooting - no kidding, and I speak from experience! If he switched everything on at once I swear the lights would dim as far away as Atsipopolou.

Now it transpires that we have been waiting just over an hour and a half, which is less time than I waited for eye tests last time I was examined in London, and we are seeing a man who has all of the latest kit. And he speaks perfect English. He is a polite, softly spoken man with a small beard and wonderfully soft hands. G is first up and it's good news: her prescription (reading glasses only) does not need changing; and slightly bad news, she must come back for a field of vision check because although her optic nerve looks fine her pressures are slightly outside of the statistical norm and so he will need to check the optic nerve from a functional perspective (same as last time in fact - seems her whole family have higher than normal pressures. We are not worried.

Next up it's my turn and I get a whirl on 3 of the sexy machines. No mixed messages here - good news - my reading glasses are fine - more good news, better than good actually - the slight myopia that has necessitated the driving glasses has reduced by 50%. In fact, says the eye doctor, in 4 or 5 years age may have sorted the problem completely and I will no longer need driving glasses at all. Result!

Now it seems to me that this guy, who does not, remember, sell glasses or lenses, has done a wonderul job for us and all for 30 euros a piece. As I pocket the prescription for new driving lenses I wonder whether a high street optician in London would have or could have given us such obviously unbiased satisfaction?

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