The English Patient

, , , , | Healthy | November 23, 2018

(I am about eight years old when my family and I relocate to China for a year. Despite my Chinese heritage, I was born and raised elsewhere, so English is my first language, whereas I tend to struggle with Chinese. In that year, I fall sick enough to warrant a week-long stay at the nearest hospital. My mother and my grandmother accompany me in the daytime to take care of me as well as talk to the nurses and doctors on my behalf. When I’m alone, however, my sole form of entertainment is the TV in the room, which I leave on the only English-speaking channel they have. None of us think much about it until my mom comes in one morning and happens upon two nurses conversing outside my room.)

Nurse #1: “That little girl, she doesn’t talk much when I ask her questions, but she is so focused when it comes to [English channel] on TV. In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s all she’s been watching since she got here!”

Nurse #2: “Wow! She’s that dedicated to learning English and keeping up with school, even though she’s this sick? What a studious girl!”

(And that’s how I inadvertently impressed a couple of nurses by lazing around in bed all day watching the telly.)

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