Choices: A Physicians Journey on Two Continents
The day had come. It was January 2, 1972, the day after Putte's third birthday. Equipped with my passport, immigrant's visa, very little money and my packed bags, I took off leaving the family behind. It would take until March 16 for them to join me. During that time much happened, most of it very different to what I had expected. It was a bold step, but I was young, ambitious and adventurous. I arrived in New York in the early evening. It was raining, cold and dark. I took a taxi to Manhattan and MSKI, my new employer. I told the driver how happy I was to be back in the city where people were so friendly. He thought I was making fun of him and almost stopped the car to let me off. I was shown to an apartment on 71 Street. my temporary home. It was dark, cold and sparsely furnished. No sheets, no blankets or pillows, no towels. It was around eleven o'clock but to me it was five in the morning. I was exhausted. I pulled my trench coat over me and promptly went to sleep, ignoring John's knocks on the door. the following morning I went to the hospital to inspect my new workplace, occupy my office and meet my new colleagues. But no space had been prepared for me, not even a desk. I began to doubt my decision. But there was much more to come. I learned the hard way that coming as a visitor and give a few lectures is one thing. Coming as an additional staff member is completely different. Instead of being a celebrated guest, I was now a competitor...
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