Thursday, January 10, 2008

They call it urban decay

Remember that earlier post in which I said I'd been assigned a dorm room with a roommate? Well, I decided not to stay in the dorm room with the roommate. The other medical student assigned to the same site for peds said, "But the dorm rooms have everything...like mini blinds!" I am not quite as turned on by plastic window treatments as he is, though, so I am commuting to Detroit each day.

I have gotten a lot of advice about how to get to the urban clinics where I am working, and all of it sounds like, "Whatever you do, don't go into that neighborhood. Or that one. Or that one. Or the one over there." Unfortunately, it's hard to find your way around town with those directions. So, I have inadvertently ended up touring several of those neighborhoods.

The last student on this rotation got mugged walking to her car one day, and I have been told to carry $20...just in case. Apparently, muggers charge $20. If you only have $10, they make you wash dishes to work off the rest. If you have $30, they get pissed because they have to make change. Or something like that. So, I'm carrying twenty bucks. I can't remember the last time I had cash on me, though. Every night, when I empty my pockets and pull out that twenty, I'm momentarily surprised. If a mugger points a gun at my head and asks for my money, I'll probably reflexively tell him I'm broke and then follow that with an excited, "Oh, wait...I might have something in this pocket!"

Navigating the concrete jungle is actually the least of my challenge in this rotation. Have you ever tried to look in a fourth month old's ears? I offered one of em the twenty to hold still, but the little buggers charge more than muggers.

11 comments:

Maria said...

I am betting that within a week you fucking LOVE peds....

The worst thing: they can't talk.

The best thing: they can't talk.

Mme Benaut said...

How are you commuting, T? Train? I hope you're not driving. I guess it's not too far away.

Terroni said...

Maria, I have noticed that many of the pros and cons of peds are the same.

Pro: They have parents.
Con: They have parents.

No, Madame, I'm not riding the rails. I am driving. The drive was fine this morning, but earlier this week, I was trying to look for my exit in a torrential downpour when the sign blew over into my lane and nearly killed me. That day, I really could have used a freakin' train.

jenny said...

Someone told me to carry a spare purse with a few pounds in, if you get mugged, throw it it one direction and you run in the other, they only want the money!

dive said...

That's truly scary, T.
So much for the romance of Motown. Sorry; I'm an old man; all I know of Detroit is great music from when I was a kid.

.j.william. said...

welcome to D-town!!! okay, so your welcome has been less than stellar.

there's a lot to love and a lot to be sad about in detroit. Unfortunately, it's the kinda place where you have to know where to go--it's not always obvious. I hope it redeems itself in your eyes at least a tiny bit before your time is done.

lastly: I don't carry a $20 for the muggers (though that's not necessarily bad advice), but I would recommend not keeping anything in your car that looks worth stealing. Smash and grabs are the biggest problem for the average person in detroit.

Rich said...

I always carry a decoy wallet so when I'm asked to give up my wallet,I hand them the fake one filled with religious pamphlets.

nina said...

god terr... be careful!

:(

Cheryl said...

I'm guessing peds isn't your thing.

Be careful, OK?

CS said...

Jeez. Be careful.

Amanda said...

wow, med school! I think that's awesome! and good for you for looking at "those" neighborhoods!