Tag Archives: hospital

Alternative Transportation

Last dream of the night.

I was in a cross between Cape Town and SF – a tall hill sweeping down to the ocean, cut with deepwater ravines that had massive suspension bridges. I lived near the Golden Gate and worked near Fisherman’s Wharf. Over the hill was a shantytown of French-speaking natives, controlled by a small, white-haired woman who prided herself on her connection to white Anglo culture.

I went to the shantytown to visit a lab of sorts where small, low-impact motorized vehicles were being designed and built. Most of them were similar to recumbent bicycles but with 4 wheels. Some just looked like butterfly chairs on wheels. I tried one in the lab, and it was ridiculously fun.

The lab was adjacent to a small, secret hospital, illegal in this part of town. I discovered it when I was trapped in the lab and the end of the day, after all the whites had left the shantytown, and I was looking for a safe place to sleep. The hospital was not it; it housed growing numbers of poor locals who were coming down with a mysterious disease. The doctor believed the disease had originated in Ethiopia. The people I saw who were afflicted were losing digits one phalanx at a time, and had badly disfigured faces (essentially, lepers). The doctor was overwhelmed by the epidemic and had started limiting hospital space to those who could pay $15/day to stay there.

I left the lab and found myself in the lobby of the controller’s offices. She was being forced to cede her control, and she was screaming in French at anyone who would listen about all the terrible things that would happen when she was gone, including (where the hell did this come from?) British Airways losing its local hub.

This was not a good place to stay, so I went out in search of transportation over the hill and across a bridge to the part of town where I worked. I found a casual carpool car being driven by a small, sharp-featured man with black hair and blue eyes. There were 8 people in the carpool, and we all pushed toll money at him. He told me to keep mine, because he didn’t want to take me to work; he planned to take me somewhere else.