Ben Goes to the Hospital

So, I've had acupuncture 3 times on my knee so far, and it always helped for a bit, but then came back.  So my friend Vivian (who is graduating from medical school) recommended that I go get an X-ray and see what Western medicine had to say about my problems.  (Yes, they do have Western medicine in Taiwan, and I should probably have thought of that myself.  Oops.)

Taipei Hospital (which is not actually in Taipei City, but anyway) is right next to my kindergarten, so I went there after work, and after much mangled Chinese conversation with the very helpful staff, managed to get myself registered for an orthopedics appointment.  I had to wait 2 and a half hours for it, though, so I went to a coffee shop and studied my Chinese characters until it was time.

Orthopedics was on the 3rd floor, so I took the elevator.  While in there, I noticed that there was no 4th floor.  This is typical for hospitals here, since the Chinese word for "four" sounds like the word for "death", and you really don't want to be staying on the "death floor" in a hospital, now, do you? When I went in, the doctor poked and prodded my knee and foot (which was hurting that day as well, the result of my marathon training).  Then he sent me to get an X-ray, which showed that, actually, there's nothing wrong with my bones.  He said that it was probably a result of insufficient stretching before I exercised.  Well, actually what he said was: "exercise以前,你應該stretch好了".  I love Chinglish.

I am proud of myself for being able to communicate everything I needed to in Chinese.  The doctor and nurses spoke some Chinglish, but most of it was all Chinese.  Go me!

There were 2 strange things about the hospital, though.

One: I'm never going for surgery in that hospital.  When I was in the bathroom, there was no soap to wash my hands with.  Eww.

Two: The hospital had a beauty salon on the first floor.  This is not something that I normally associate with a hospital.  Can you imagine that conversation? "Hey honey, I'm going to the hospital?" "Why? What's wrong?" "My hair looks awful."


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