Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I had this interesting experience yesterday. I saw a patient in consultation for thyroid cancer. He had received initial care at my alma mater, and then heard there was a WFMC-trained endocrinologist here (closer to his home). He was excited to find out I was Malaysian Chinese (so he said in his emails to the clinic making the appointment).
And so I saw him yesterday, a dearly older gentleman who reminded me of Albert Einstein. Even had the same crazed hairstyle. This Caucasian man in his 60s. But I didn't expect what came next.
He stood up to shake my hand. And started jabbering in some foreign language excitedly. And then it hit me that he was speaking in Mandarin (and it sounded fluent too).
Sheepishly, I had to tell him I didn't speak Mandarin, which prompted him to switch to saying 'Hello' in pretty damn good Cantonese.
Apparently, Mr. K was well-travelled, and spent considerable time in Asia, including Malaysia. At the end of our visit, after I had outlined the treatment plan for his thyroid cancer, and discussed the prep for radioactive remnant ablation, he proceeded to write 'Thank You' in Chinese on the whiteboard (well, so he says. Could have been F*ck you for all I know).
It was amusing, and admittedly a bit embarassing; my ancestors from China were probably turning in their graves, disavowing any relations to me.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

and that banana explains everything...

10:22 PM  
Anonymous Jimbo said...

Ugh..since he has been in Asia a lot, consider a RVD screen. Heh heh...

6:10 PM  
Anonymous -lyn.l- said...

Dude, give yourself a break. I had to take all those years of Chinese in school and I still struggle with it!

11:02 PM  

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