Monday, February 07, 2022


Stumbled out of the house at an ungodly hour without coffee or breakfast, to surround myself with delightful women heavily armed with needles. Reason being bloodtests (驗血 'yim huet') down at Chinese Hospital. I'm needle-phobic. That is to say, needles carefully poked in to a certain depth, and of a diameter sufficient to the task of sucking out thick viscous liquid. Which you can feel. Also needed to provide a urine sample. "Can I have coffee first? I'm a bit empty right now .... " "Yes please have coffee, anything to fill you up!" So I went and had a cup and a smoke, and returned an hour and a half later considerably more human.

The character 驗 ('yim'; inspect, check, verify), to the eye that analyses and knows seal script, reminds one of checking one's tickets at the horse races. Being on the left a horse (馬) next to two tallies held together (僉) on the right.

After dutifully peeing into a cup, I went off to visit my bank and have lunch. Then had another pipeful and returned home. So altogether, ignoring the needles and the jabbing, it was a lovely day. Coffee. Food. Milk tea. Tobacco. With plenty of walking and observing people, listening to opera from a basement music club, stepping aside for a whole passle of adorable tykes (put my mask on as soon as I noticed them approaching with their minders), watching the occasional insane individual doing what they do best, whatever that is.
Excepting one or two minor details, every day should be like this.
I might choose to pass on the needles and the cup.
Fortunately those are rare.

That first cup of coffee at eleven o'clock was one of the best ever.

Also, I'm patting myself on the back for being human.
As no doubt the blood tests will prove.
Even without caffeine.

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