Wednesday, August 04, 2021


From this morning's exercise in American healthcare, we learn primarily that being healthy means walking about thirty blocks. To the clinic, then to get coffee and smoke one's pipe, then to the eye-doctor a few blocks further on to set an appointment (they could see me right away, turns out I have a minor issue with the left eye), then over to the pharmacy to inquire when a praescription would be ready, lunch at a nearby bakery, wander around a bit with a pipe, buy vegetables, pick up the praescription back at the pharmacy, purchase a vegetable with a distinctly unlovely name, and finally to the bus stop.

Secondarily, we learn that there are things called pig gut beans. Because of their colour. 豬腸豆角 ('jyu cheung tau gok') are not greeny-green, like regular long beans (豆角,Vigna unguiculata subsp. sesquipedalis), but fleshy purple. Quite an ugly name, that.
Of course I bought a bunch.

Tertiarily, if your clinic and eye-doctor are in Chinatown, it is highly unlikely that you will ever run into Nurse Ratched or anyone similar. The Nurse Practitioner who saw me for my vitals and the eye-doctor's assistant were both elfin women with keen intelligences, the clerical staff at the clinic are small and very capable, the pharmacy staff are perhaps slightly taller and louder, and everybody I dealt with is helpful, courteous, and gentle-mannered (and multi-lingual, as they have to deal with speakers of Cantonese, Toisan, Mandarin, and English).

Oh, yeah. They also tolerate my horrendous Cantonese.
As well as oblige my inquisitivity.

Lastly, we learn once more that "your mask should be worn so that it covers both your nose and your mouth."

['hau jan wo hon jan si, ching nei daai hou hau jaau, je jyu pei-ji wo jeui baa']

Very many of my fellow Caucasians are too stupid to grasp that they also breathe through their noses. Maybe they're Texan or something.

It's a seemingly intractable problem. A nose has two nostrils, which unless they're plugged (or filled with hair) allow the unfiltered passage of air, germs (毒菌 'duk kwan', fungal spores (菌孢子 'kwan baau ji'), small lizards (壁虎 'bik fu'; 蛤蚧 'gap gaai'), and disease (疾病 'jat beng'; 流行病 'lau hang beng').

Fortunately there were no other white people at the bakery where I had lunch (芝士火腿包同埋一杯港式奶茶 'ji si fo tui baau tungmai yat pui gong sik naai chaa'). It would've thrown me off if there were. Especially in Chinatown, I simply don't know where my fellow honkies have been; they could be tourists from the plague zone or the stupid states, carrying all kinds of diseases. And cooties.

CT Scan (射線計算機斷層成像 'se sin gai suen kei duen chang sing jeung') scheduled for next week. That means more pipe smoking, more bakery visits, more terminology, and more getting pissed at Caucasians blithely pedestrianing unmasked.


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