October 18, 2008

Through the gate

Although the property was fenced, the wrought iron gate was open and we drove in without buzzing. Just inside there were two signs, one pointing to the Institut de Beauté and the other to visites medicales. "I guess that’s us," I said, pointing to the second sign. We followed its arrow up through the trees to the chateau that had been so evident from the road. Now it seemed almost invisible, tucked away beneath a green canopy.

Here we had to stop and buzz. When the large wooden door opened after we’d given our name, we found ourselves stepping into a marble hallway with a hallway running straight through to a door in the back, and, on the right, marble steps circling up to another floor. There didn’t seem to be anyone or anything moving down the corridor, so we followed the staircase up and to an anteroom with the doctor’s name on a brass plaque. There were two receptionists (nurses?) at a desk, one sitting down and the other leaning behind her.