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The emergency ward at Westmead Hospital was quiet on Sunday night: the seats were half full, I only saw two Police, no one screamed, and not once, in the entire time I was there--an hour and a half--did an Ambulance arrive. Like I said, quiet.

There were only two sources of interest. The first came from the Police, one of them a pretty Asian woman, the other a dull White guy, talking to a White woman with a blank expression on her face. She was pale, too, her face white with makeup, which leant a certain mask like quality to her as she sat down listening to the Police carefully talk to her. Because she was in the triage section, and behind a thick wall of glass and plaster, I had no idea what they were talking about, but the blank look could easily have been shock, and she could have been receiving bad news, even when she tried to storm away. The Police eventually took her back into the triage section, and I was forced to spend time with source of interest two.

This was an elderly woman in a wheelchair, decked out in a bright pink, floral gown. She was Italian, I think, but could have been Greek. At any rate, what made her more interesting than the other silent people, was that, once every two or three minutes, she would let out a string of burps. They were short, clipped, dry, and sounded almost as if she was saying, "Burb burb burb burb burb," before falling silent to wait until the urge arose again, and "Burb burb burb burb burb," would sound through the emergency ward. After sitting in the ward for twenty minutes, this sounded more and more like she was saying the word, and not actually burping.

The woman next to her said, "Why won't they do something? She's been like this for two days."