Thursday and Friday are our weekends here; so today was our Sunday. In Australia, on a Sunday afternoon you might go for a bike ride, have a coffee at the cafe, watch a game of footy*, mow the lawn.
Here in Kabul, I spent my Sunday afternoon equivalent being the surgical assistant on a vasectomy operation. My good friend F, who we have have known for many years now, has had enough kids to pass the vasectomy threshold. Back home, it would cost him $1500 for the operation. Here in Kabul, he can get it from Ken, the Canadian super-surgeon, for the price of a box of nice chocolate. And I was invited to come along and pass the forceps. Wow! Who would pass up such an opportunity.
Ken the super-surgeon is a nonchalent fellow. Ken distressed and freaking out, and Ken happy and peaceful are hard to tell apart. This operation he did in his own home, on the spare bed. He was kneeling for most of it, because the bed was low. And the light was poor. All up, it took about 40 minutes, but that was mainly because Ken fooled around putting the Eagles on the stereo first. (Eagles = good music to listen to when your manhood is being assailed.) And because we had to find the sutures, which he had left in the basement. Ken has previously done the vasectomy op. of another friend of mine on his kitchen table, while his wife held the tools. Legend has it he did his own, by himself, one afternoon.
I have to say, I quite enjoyed it. I thought Ken could do the first snip and tie, and me the second, but selfishly he did it all himself. I’d make a good surgeon, and here in Afghanistan I have done more than my share of stitching up peoples heads, hands, feet and so on. But two sisters before me are doctors, and when it was my turn to go to university, medicine was no longer in fashion.
There’s still time.
Happily, F came through it all smiling. There was the odd grimace and I’m not sure it was fun, but he held it all together. He is staying at our place tonight, before he heads back to his home elsewhere in Afghanistan tomorrow. I’m considering offering this as a service to friends and colleagues back in Australia. Home-based vasectomy and sleep-over. Email if interested.
* anyone who knows me, would know that me watching a game of footy on Sunday afternoon is totally anachronistic.