Health is wealth. A common yet the most unappreciated phrase yet. One of the requirements in obtaining a Schengen Visa is a medical insurance. Which to me, at the time of application, was completely unnecessary. A mere ploy just to squeeze money from the pockets of the interested tourists and make the process a tad bit harder. Because what are the chances of actually getting sick amidst travel and holidays, right?

September was supposedly summer, according to my weather app that is. With that I was able to squeeze in 21 days worth of outfit in a normal sized rose gold carry on. But as we traverse our way up to the Northern part of Europe, summer may have had a different meaning. Vienna, the capital of Austria, was 11 degrees C at the time being. The weather didn’t bother me much to be honest, but my body did. I started getting very itchy rash on my arms and then it spread to my thighs and legs. At first I thought it was just allergies. So I took up anti-histamine for a few days hoping it would magically make my rashes disappear, which in return only made me dizzy as we tour around each cities in Europe. I was also rid of my rights to wear shorts or sleeveless, as my rashes would be itchier when exposed. And honestly ain’t very sightly to see. It was sorta depressing. At the same time humiliating. Because it was the least thing anyone would want to happen to their skin while on vacation. On the 2nd week of our stay here in Europe, and Vienna being our 5th country, we decided to seek help. So I was rushed to the Emergency Out Patient Department of Vienna General Hospital at the wee hours of the night while the rain downpours just for a mysterious rash that doesn’t go away.

The Hospital doesn’t look like much of a hospital. It seems to me like a local version of a small time mall that is already facing bankruptcy. Retailers on the main hallway, and a University on the front. And the only Hospital in the world that doesn’t come with a Pharmacy alongside. My vital signs was checked by who I assume to be a nurse. Then I was lead to a hallway that creeps me to the bones. I was then told to wait. Which we did, for approximately 30 minutes that is. When I was introduced to the Doctor I felt relieved and started explaining my situation. He just stared at me blankly and wrote me a prescription drug which I assumed to be anti-viral. He talked little to no English, which made it more difficult for me to understand and be understood. That’s it. No idea of the diagnosis, or even the drug given. We were then charged 180 euros which is in equivalent almost 10,000 pesos. The most expensive 5 minutes check-up I’ve had to date.

Good thing we have insurance. Which only costs us 30 dollars from AXA for the entirety of our stay. It was kinda worth it having to be able to save up on 180 euros plus on the medications. Also being reassured that all medical expenses are covered. I take back what I said that it’s unnecessary. After all, this is Europe. More than the double of the cost of living back home. And the worst place to be in for any other incurred expenses.

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