last Friday afternoon, my wife went to our local GP (house-doctor is the Dutch term). She had a cough and quite a bit of blood came up. The GP thought it best that she would go to the local hospital Emergency room. So we did... from 5:15 PM until 9:45 PM. It was a long visit. But she had two different blood samples taken, and a CT scan. In the end, they could not find any clear cause for the problem. They wanted to keep her in the hospital for observation overnight, but she declined - having spent far too many nights in the hospital over the last few years. We have an appointment tomorrow at the out-patient clinic to do some more tests, etc. But that is not the major point of my post. This is it: we were in the Accident and Emergency Room on a Friday night. We were received and handled and released in 4.5 hours. When we walked out of the place approaching 10 PM on a Friday night, the waiting room was dark, quiet, and deserted. I thought back to my days in Oakland CA, and the number of times I had sat in the waiting room of an emergency clinic on a Friday night. And how different that experience was.