The flying doctor

Today one of our neighbours was carried off in an ambulance. The Amsterdam way. Its not only an ambulance and paramedics who attend these calls but also a firetruck and six burly fireman. The patient, you see, has to come out a window.

The stairs in most Amsterdam buildings are far too steep and narrow to manouver a stretcher around them. This still fascinates me but then I’m Australian, what do I know about steep, narrow staircases?

I didn’t take any photos, it doesn’t seem fair to invade someone’s privacy at a time when they are ill or injured and strapped to a stretcher hanging from a gable above a pavement full of gawking strangers. But I did stop what I was doing and hang out the window with all the other neighbours, giving the patient a cheery wave as they hurtled past clutching their dignity.

Because patient-extraction IS a spectator sport in Amsterdam.

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