The Needling Issue Doesn’t Have To Be

, , , , | Healthy | January 16, 2018

Due to a chronic condition, I needed to have a series of blood tests done, some of which required larger gauge needles than normal. I headed to the hospital closest to my apartment in Tokyo, waited to see the specialist, and got my notes to take to the blood draw lab reception.

The intake nurses were a bit flustered to be treating me, but my Japanese was good enough that I got through the first steps just fine. Then, I headed into the blood test room and the nurse there started telling me that the tests would hurt, the needles are pretty big, etc., and that in Japan, they don’t use skin-numbing cream. I assured her that I’d be fine, but she didn’t believe me and stomped out of the room to find a nurse that spoke English, despite the fact that we had been conversing in Japanese just fine.

I took off my cardigan, and my heavily-tattooed arms were now visible, right when the nurse came back, dragging a young doctor behind her. He looked at me and said to the nurse, “I think she’s okay with needles,” then burst out laughing as the nurse just gawked at me. Turns out I was the first foreign patient she’d ever taken blood from and she was terrified I’d flip out or faint because of the needles.

1 Thumbs
570

Shogun The Way To Go Home

, , , , | Right | June 22, 2010

(I work at the local train station. Having spent half my life living in Los Angeles, and the other living in Tokyo, I speak both English and Japanese. The other station masters tend to bring tourists to me, since their English isn’t as good as mine. A tourist approaches me and speaks loudly, slowly, and with very large hand gestures)

Tourist: “I’m trying to get to [Station]! Can you help me?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. I actually grew up in Los Angeles, so I can speak English.”

Tourist: *still speaking in the same way* “No, I’m not from Los Angeles! I’m trying to get to [Station]!”

Me: “No, ma’am, I just meant that I spent a lot of time in Los Angeles.”

Tourist: “No! Not Los Angeles! [Station]!”

(The woman’s husband, hearing his wife shouting, joins us.)

Tourist’s Husband: *to his wife* “What’s going on?”

Tourist: “This dumb guy keeps asking if we’re from Los Angeles!”

Tourist’s Husband: “Why would he think that?”

Tourist: “I don’t know!”

Tourist’s Husband: *to me, speaking clearly, but not extremely slowly* “We’re trying to get to [Station].”

(I provide directions to the station.)

Tourist’s Husband: “You speak English very well!”

Me: “Thank you, sir. As I tried to explain to your wife, I grew up in Los Angeles, so I speak English.”

Tourist’s Husband: *sighs* “I’m sorry you had to put up with her. Thanks for the directions.”

(As they are walking away, I hear the woman proudly tell her husband, “I told you those Japanese lessons we took would pay off!”)

1 Thumbs
5,222