Posts Tagged ‘CNN’

The Hospital Hotel

March 31, 2007

I called a taxi early one Saturday morning in Nairobi to take me to the hospital for some standard, but recurring, gastrointestinal issues.  I felt pretty sick, and probably looked pale and weak, but it was something of a shock when, as we approached the hospital, the driver said “You want to go to Casualties?”

“You mean the morgue?” I said.  “No, the Emergency Room is fine.”

A few hours later I was admitted for the night, largely because they wanted to give me some fluids.  Worried about whatever dingy room full of tuberculosis patients they would assign me, I thought of refusing to stay.  Then an administrator said to me, “We called your health care provider.  You are entitled to a Princess Zahra Pavilion suite.”

I learned that evening that Marriot runs the Princess Zahra Pavilion of the Aga Khan hospital in Nairobi.  The first thing I noticed was the flat screen television with digital satellite service.  Then, just minutes after I “checked in,” room service came to take my lunch order.  Being genuinely sick at this point, I decided to be conservative.

“I’ll have the grilled chicken breast with rice please.”

“Starters are on page 1 and desserts and beverages are on page 4 sir.”

“Ok, can I have the vegetable soup for a starter and, if it’s ok with the doctor, the fresh strawberries and cream for dessert please?  And I’d just have some tea to drink, with milk please.”

“Would you care to order dinner too please sir?”

Counting on at least a little healthy progress throughout the day, I decided to be a bit bolder with my dinner menu.

“I’d like to start with the prawn cocktail and maybe the cream of asparagus soup please.  For my meal, let’s do the steak au poivre with blue cheese sauce on the side.  And maybe some mashed potatoes with that.  Dessert?  The black forest chocolate cake sounds good, but can I get that with the fresh cream instead of the vanilla ice cream?  And I’d like the red wine to drink please.”

“Very good sir.”

“And could you please tell someone that my remote control isn’t working?  Thanks.”

Later that night, to my utter delight, I learned that The Daily Show is carried internationally on CNN.