Instead of being able to play in my first game I had to use the map seen above to get myself to the MRI center at Rambam Hospital. It was drawn by one of the managers minutes before I left. Armed with those not-quite mapquest worthy dircetions and zero hebrew skills, it was bound to be an adventure. I asked before I left: “Well, if I get lost, I can call you right?” He gave a non-reassuring “Well, I will be at the game so I hope I hear my phone.” Fantastic. Somehow, getting to the hospital itself was not that bad. The one wrong turn I made was easily corrected. But, the drive turned out to be the least of my troubles.
I was directed to a massive parking lot that flanked 3 huge hospital looking buildings. Of course, I had no idea which one to go to. The first person I tentatively asked “MRI?” confidently told me “Right, then right.” This led me nowhere, and got me no closer to determining the correct building to go in. So, I started wandering, hoping to find someone who was an actual employee of the hospital. It took longer than I thought it would, and the person I found gave me this helpful nugget: “Left, then left.” Hmmm. Not quite what the other person said, but I’d try to work with it. Surprisingly, this actually did lead me to what seemed to be the main entrance area. From there my confidence grew, because a person I had spoken with on the phone told me the MRI center was 1 floor below ground level. I made my way downstairs and figured out I was on the correct floor. It was now either right or left, and of course there were no signs indicating which way the MRI place might be. I quickly made the choice to go left, and after cautiously meandering through several dimly lit hallways marked by crumbling walls, potholes in the floor and no signs of life, I figured that could not be the way. I was wishing the whole time I had my camera, because you would not believe this place was a hospital. There was graffiti and tons of dirty, vacant rooms where it looked like there should be workers. Granted it is under construction, but it reminded me of some sort of dungeon. As I walked around there would be hardly any people, then all of a sudden I would come across a few rows of the sick laid out on hospital beds, then instantly I’d find myself back in some dark labyrinth. Part of the time I was outside I noticed two people spraying water and cleaning the sidewalk right in the same area that an old woman was being wheeled around on her stretcher. It was all very strange and nothing like you would find in America.
Anyway, after retracing my steps I was able to finally see a sign pointing me toward where they did the MRI”s. Of course, if I had chosen to go right at the bottom of the stairs I would have found this in a matter of seconds. Better late than never. Somehow I managed to do all this and still be on time. The scan went fine, and I was given a disc with the images and sent on my way. I looked at the disc and noticed the interesting way they spelled my name: “HAUSMAN DARIO A.” I guess this is the best they could do translating the Hebrew spelling. At least it was different than the usual “Houseman.”
Just to be clear, my body had been feeling pretty good and I had every intention of playing today. I also had every intention of finally getting this MRI done so I can know exactly what the problem is with my knee. Yet somehow, even though we play once a week, always on tuesday, they managed to make my appointment on a tuesday. I looked into changing the MRI but I was told that if I missed this appointment I would have to wait until January, which would defeat the purpose. So not only could I not play, I could not even watch from the bench. A definite bummer, especially beacuse management is doing less and less to hide their feeling that they think I should have been back by now. They hide it behind smiles and jokes, but I can tell exactly what they think. Hopefully the MRI shows nothing out of the ordinary and next week I will finally, finally, finally play in my first pro game.