Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Adventures in Chinatown

Last week, I had some allergic reaction stuff going on so I went to Urgent Care. Who kindly set up an appointment for me with a conveniently-located, in-network allergist. 

You've already guessed that the allergist isn't in network and I didn't find out until I got there. Right? Because of course that's how that went down.

But there's so much more to this story.

According to MTA Trip Planner, there was no difference between taking the Q and B trains. Thanks to construction, I had to walk to the express station, so I'd be able to take whichever train came first. Only the B train was a 10 minute walk from the doctor's office while the Q was a block and a half away. 

You've already guessed that I took the B train, right? The heat and humidity were just delightful.

While I was getting my bearings, I was stopped by a rich-looking, older white couple. Who thought I was an MTA information kiosk. Apparently. 

"Does the B train go to Manhattan?"
"We're in Manhattan."
"Well, 50th street."
"Depends on whether you want the West Side or East Side."

I suggested she check out the map to figure out which stop was closest to her destination. Then she asked what the senior fare is these days. Because I obviously know that information off the top of my head. 

Anyway, 10 minute walk in the heat and humidity and about to pass out. I decide that I must have a pork bun when I'm done with the doctor. I see a bakery that looks decent, but also see several others that are closer to the doctor's office. And the fucking Q train station.

The doctor (who is inexplicably in charge of billing) has a, shall we say, lackadaisical approach to insurance coverage. She kept telling the receptionist to make me pay $200 that they would reimburse me if my insurance company paid them. Which they wouldn't do because I don't have out of network coverage. Which isn't a secret - Obamacare plans don't have out of network coverage because if you can't fuck people over with the in/out of network game, then life has no meaning.

So I left.

By then, I didn't want any goddamn pork bun. I wanted the best fucking pork bun in a two-block radius. So I googled. Which led me to a restaurant that specializes in steamed buns. Which turned out to be 5 blocks away, including a stroll down the stinky fish block of Mott Street (you know the one).

And that's when I saw the big C in the window. This tiny hole in the wall with no seating had a C grade from the health department and didn't even feel the need to hide this with a Grade Pending sign. That's how much they don't give a fuck about hygiene. 

Hard pass.

So I walked back towards the Q train, popped into that first bakery I'd noted and bought a pork bun and some moon cakes, which I've always wanted to try. I should've gotten a steamed pork bun, because the baked one was cold, which is weird but fine when you really need some goddamn protein.

I've now walked more steps than if I'd gone way the hell uptown, changing trains 3 times. And I still don't know what the fuck is going on with this whole allergy thing.

Healthcare should not be this difficult to obtain.