Wednesday, January 12, 2022


The early afternoon snack included something representing a taste which was always good, but has become staggeringly common in the last two years: 鹹蛋黃 ('haam daan wong'; salted egg yolk). Because I have one open bag and a closed one in the computer room. As with many things I eat, it's a guilty pleasure, because the appointment I had at the hospital nutritionist over two years ago ended with her looking green, and our agreement that my improved and more heart-healthy diet would start with baby steps: cut down on the cookies.

Since then I have cut down on the cookies. I no longer eat a dozen of them pensively late at night. Salted egg yolk biscuits (鹹蛋黃餅 'haam daan wong beng') are not cookies.

The reason why she looked green after our conversation was that it was nearly lunch time for her, and I described in great detail all the horribly fattening bad for your heart and gut delicious things available within two or three blocks of the hospital. Everything you certainly don't want to hear about on an empty stomach. The hospital is in Chinatown. Just think of duck and pork and salt fish, and egg dishes and baked chops on top of rice with a gooey layer of melted cheese.
And cakes, sweet rolls, little chicken pies, egg tarts, and old wife biscuit.
And runny custard pineapple buns.

The guilt lies in talking about rich tempting food when she was hungry.

It was evil of me, I am a bad man.

Of course when my doctor brought up smoking, I'd switch the subject to food also. So it was within the tradition that was being established during my visits to the clinic. There will be a new doctor there for my next visit (my erstwhile regular care physician is back at school), and I'm feeling somewhat anxious about that; I do not know what this new person eats.
The website does not tell me.
What is certain is that the disapproval of smoking, and a severe lecture about how by doing so I'm ruining my body, wasting my grandkids inheritance (don't have any), and making myself unlikable to the opposite sex (and risking pneumonia because I go outside a lot for a puff) are going to come up. It's inevitable. Years ago many physicians were chainsmokers since medical school or early childhood, our family doctor would happily load a bowl with my tobacco, and in the hospital ward where my mother spent her last months, there were sometimes more medical professionals having a puff in the teevee room than patients.
Doctors have changed.

'More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette. Yes, in a repeated national survey, doctors in ALL branches of medicine, in ALL parts of the country, were asked "what cigarette do YOU smoke, doctor?"
Not surprisingly, more doctors preferred the taste of Camels. Why don't you try Camels for a month, to see what a smooth, rich tasting cigarette can mean for your tobacco enjoyment?

The first thing you do, after several hours of surgery, is light up.
Far better than a cold beer in the 'Mortuary Arms Pub'.

A doctor should not smoke cigarettes. They should smoke a pipe, because it makes them look serious and avuncular. You can trust him (or her), because they have gravitas, and abstain from ciggies, as all sensible people should.

My next round of medical appointments (regular care physician, praescription refills, eye doctor, cardiologist) starts in another two weeks. Should be interesting.
I always have a smoke and go eat something afterwards.

A reward for cutting back on the cookies.

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