After seven months in this country, I’ve finally got round to sorting out some health insurance. Not that it’s quite kicked in yet – if I get hit by a bus before May 1st, I could very easily max out both my credit cards, use up all my savings, and still be paying off the debt for years to come.

Actually, I’m more likely to get hit by a fire engine, since they’re way more common than buses in this city – so common, in fact, that there aren’t enough fires or cats in trees to go round. This means that there is genuinely a policy to send one along every time someone needs an ambulance, which also, for some peculiar reason, are run by the fire department. Yep, doesn’t make sense to me either.

Anyway, so in a couple of weeks time, I’ll be paying $150.11 a month for the privilege of not ending up in debt should I end up in hospital. But that doesn’t cover anything else. If I wanted to have proper health insurance, where I could see a doctor in a non-emergency – say, if I had a virus that required antibiotics, or I needed a smear test – then I would not be covered. To be fully covered for that kind of thing, including prescriptions, I’d need to pay $752.63. Per month. I am not exaggerating.

Which means that it’s actually cheaper to fly home and see my GP. Carbon footprint be damned…