Call me weird, but I’ve always enjoyed donating blood. I could say that I do it because I want to help people, and that certainly has to be part of it, but I think perhaps it’s mostly to do with the fact that since I was a kid I’ve always watched my dad donate. I have good memories of going into South Melbourne with him and watching him undergo the process, waiting eagerly to share his milkshake and sugar lollies afterwards.
Or maybe I’ve always just been a sucker for free food.
Earlier this year the Austrian Red Cross came to my work and the realisation hit me – why hadn’t I thought to donate in the 2+ years I’d been here? So I excitedly toddled off to make my first Austrian donation. Yet despite the fact that I’d done it countless times in Australia, I was petrified. How was I going to read, let alone fill in such a complicated form in German?
So I felt easy when I walked into the room and realised that things were (almost) exactly the same as in Australia. The process was identical – fill in form – haemoglobin test – donate – eat. And the form was so familiar I only had to look up a few words for it to make sense.
Despite the fact that I got rejected the first time (due to an overseas trip I’d half forgotten about), I was still welcomed into the ‘recovery’ room to enjoy a roll, bar of chocolate and a glass of RED WINE! Welcome to Austria people – now that’s my kind of blood donation!
So this week I discovered that the mobile blood donation centre was heading to my area. And so I finally made my first official Austrian blood donation. I did it all on my own, all in German, and I survived.
And for my effort I was awarded with… a glorious FRANKFURTER.
Cause damn I can’t hide it – I do love free food.