Friday, May 07, 2004Take me to the hospital
Yesterday Abstractboy found himself at Royal Free Hospital up in lovely Hampstead. Don't worry - he was not ill, but because UCL now owns Royal Free (or something along those lines), it doubles up as an exam centre! And quite a bizarre one at that, although UCL does tend to choose odd places to host exams - next week Abstractboy will be visiting The City Temple for his Politics of European Integration exam.
Anyway, having finished the exam half an hour early, Abstractboy felt it would be the decent thing to do to wait for his friends to finish. He sat in the corridor of the Royal Free Hospital just watching the world go by. It was then he realised, being the people watcher that he is, that hopsitals are perhaps the most interesting and cosmopolitan pockets in society. Everyone gets ill - obviously some people are more susceptable to illness than others - and therefore everyone has the need to go to a hospital at some point. This is no great revelation but it is one thing that people may take for granted, or probably not even think about.
Whilst waiting, Abstractboy saw them all The Blacks, The Whites, The Asians, The Poor, The Hippies, The Young, The Pregnant, The Old, The Very Old, The Native Americans (seriously!), The Principled Wealthy (those who choose not to go Boo-Pah), The Young Upwardly Mobile Professionals, The Families, even The Gays. And everyone felt like they were in it together. There was no segregation, no tension. Everyone seemed to be in harmony with eachother. There were couples of all descriptions, of all races, of all mixes. It may seem condescending to be so pleasently surprised by the integration and collective spirit at hospitals, but Abstractboy has always seen CosmopolitanLondon as more of a Melting Pot than a truely cosmpolitan and integrated city.
Whether it is pertinent that everyone be integrated in society is a different debate, but Abstractboy likes to see the collective spirit in hospitals, the pulling together, people in harmony with eachother. It is all quite bizarre, which is probably why it struck such a chord with Abstractboy. But it is nice. Abstractboy likes integration.