Tuesday, August 22, 2006


So there was a blood donation camp in my office building a few days ago. Posters were up for ages, asking, begging people to please donate. And as a good donor from years ago, I decided I would.

Off I went, on the appointed day, to the van in which the donations were to take place. Only to come back, because they needed ID. Back with the ID. Return again, to figure out my social security number - without which they wouldn't accept a donation, and which I never remember. Some time to hunt through documentation to find the number, then back again to the van. Fill out forms, extensive, long-winded forms about exposure to disease, sexual promiscuity, etc. Get finger pricked for blood-type testing. Wait for the nurse to be free to see me.

Only to discover that if you've been in the US for less than 3 years at a stretch, and especially if you come from sub-Saharan Africa, or India, or "places like those", they don't want your blood. Rationale: you've been exposed to malaria (I know malaria stays in the system for a while after you fall ill, but does it have that long a gestation period?!!) and "other such diseases".

I feel like I'm in a bad movie, where someone with a guttural Germainic accent is telling me, "So you fink you kan gif blood, eh? Vell, you're wrong. Go back to vere you kame from, filthy Indian."

Alright, so this is an exaggeration. Still, I'm feeling intensely alienated right now. Ironically, that's probably just how the INS wants aliens to feel.


Saltwater Blues said...

well, I guess even in the land of milk & honey you can't have the cake ad eat it too.

heop all is well Progga ... long time.

vanlal said...

Reminds me of this guy who went to donate blood for his cousin at CMC Vellore. They wouldn't take his blood when he said he'd had pre-marital intercourse.

It's all about being bloody holier-than-thou Christian, baby.

yesbob said...

I heard they've opened up a new blood donation centre up in the hilly transylvania ...