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Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Aside from relaxing and having fun, one of our goals on this trip home was to take care of various medical and dental appointments.  I suspect we are not the only people who work abroad who do this.  An interesting aspect of our situation, though, is the lack of an obvious home base.  We have never owned a home, and we have no plans to return to the last place we lived (and had medical care) in the US.  We decided to use my home town, where we are spending the majority of our break, as a home base to take care of these sorts of things.

My parents were able to give us recommendations for doctors and dentists, and my mom helped me make appointments.  So far, so good.  The funny part was actually going to these appointments.  As anyone who has been to any sort of medical or dental appointment in the US knows, there is always a lot of paperwork to fill out.  One thing they always want is the patient's address.  So, I spent a number of paperwork-completing sessions feeling vaguely like a liar as I supplied my parents' address, a place where I have not actually lived for many years.  Giving our Kazakhstan address is likely to (a) ruin the day of whomever has to enter the information into the computer, and (b) lead us to have to explain multiple times why we live there.

Of course, after having written my parents' (US-based) address on one of the forms, the next question asked for the name and address of my employer.  Knowing how discordant this would appear, I gave the name of my Kazakhstan-based employer, and hoped to not have to give a lengthy explanation of our circumstances.

The same thing happened with our phone number, of course.  Giving our Kazakhstan mobile numbers seemed counterproductive, at best.  We have no US mobile numbers, so we gave my parents' home number.  Again, I felt like an impostor.

It's not too hard to remember the address of the house I grew up in and the phone number my parents have always had.  The most challenging question for an impostor like me was the pharmacy I would use for any prescriptions.  It took some effort on my part to remember that the pharmacy closest to my parents' house is no longer the Eckerd Drugs where I worked for several summers, but a Rite Aid.  I don't remember what year it became a Rite Aid, but I know it wasn't really all that recent.  Missing that question almost certainly would have uncovered my dishonest ways...

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