Thursday, August 18, 2022


Because of the internet I now know what an Eppendorf tube is. Which, given that I have not actually been anywhere near a microcentrifuge, is not remarkable. With a microcentrifuge, centripetal forces are used to separate substances of greater and lesser densities. Not really part of my life, but I would imagine that there is such a thing down at the clinic, and a part of me may have been spinning around madly, seeing as I had blood drawn last week.

Yeah um. May explain the occasional dizziness, huh?

So far they haven't called me yet to tell me I'm a zombie, and I haven't noticed dark figures lurking in the shadows with wooden stakes and silver chains. But one wouldn't, would one?
It would likely be the last thing one would see.

Perhaps they'd send a Taoist priest?

So the question really is whether San Francisco Chinese Hospital has any religious experts on call. This is relevant, because a few years ago when I got health insurance I chose the clinic at Chinese Hospital as my regular care provider, figuring that it was close by, not the recipient of masses of drug addicts freaking out or stabbing victims bleeding to death, gun shot victims, crazies, alcoholics having fits, or criminals foaming at the mouth, unlike at SF General (where they lost a patient in the airwell one time). Their emergency room isn't a battle zone or a out-of-control psych ward.

Good people, and experience dealing with grumpy codgers cussing in foreign languages.

That last is more important than the religious bit. Seeing as I'm grumpy, and I often express myself unprintably in Dutch or Brabantish dialect. Besides a few other tongues.

Because of frequent association, I have learned not to swear in Cantonese. The last thing anyone wants to hear, wether on a gurney OR while sipping a cappuccino and reading the Chronicle one morning at the Caffè Trieste, is some sweet young lady remarking in a wounded tone to someone else "keui kong chou hau ah" (佢講粗口啊).

To the best of my recollection, when my appendix ruptured, my foul language was entirely in Dutch. So far I have not encountered anyone at the hospital who understands that. Although if there is one, they are probably hiding it, possibly because they do not wish to embarrass me. "Yeah man, we heard you cussing up a storm at five thirty A.M. one time, and were amazed at how filthy your tongue is. Quite vile. Also extraordinairy, but good lord!"
[殭屍先生 (九叔)]

They're probably hiding the Taoist priest too. Some of us kwailo might be daemons or zombies, and they'll need him to exorcise us when the time comes.

For your information, the Hungry Ghost Festival (中元節 'jung yuen jit'; 七月半 'chat yuet pun') this year was last Friday, August 12. As you would naturally expect, I was at work.

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