HORSE’S MOUTH: About a Filipina Nurse

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YOSHINAGA-GEORGEBy GEORGE YOSHINAGA

If the first few days of 2014 are any indication what the year is going to be like, I might as well toss in the towel on writing my column.

On Jan. 1, I thought I lost my credit card. With the bank closed, I couldn’t cancel it. However, this situation was solved when I found the card under the driver’s seat in the car.

The following day, I felt dizzy so my wife called the hospital and I was checked in. Well, I’m still in the hospital. Even though I’m feeling great, the doctor won’t release me.

I told her I had to write my column, but she wouldn’t let me go, so I decided to write longhand to see if I could fill at least some space in The Rafu. I just hope Maggie can read my handwriting.

Well, let me get on with it. If any of you are reading this, I’ll know I was successful in putting my thoughts on paper with pen instead of my computer.

I’m OK. The doctor probably wants to tack another day on my medical bill because I’m covered by my medical insurance. We argued, so she stormed out of my room and now nobody is talking to me.

I just hope I don’t have to stay more than another day.

Let’s hope the Year of the Horse won’t be like the first few days. So far “Shinnen omedeto” was more like “Shinnen Omaigosh.”

How long my column lasts depends on whether Maggie and Gwen can read my scribbling.

(Maggie’s comment: Mr. Y. Before I typed your column, I went through the 8½ handwritten pages on the paper pad provided by the hospital. I had little trouble reading them. Rest assured you did a GREAT job and you are to be thanked for your devotion to your readers.)

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In watching the medical staff at the hospital, I noticed that the majority of employees (nurses and doctors) are Asians.

One of them, a Filipina, asked me if I was Japanese. When I responded, “Yes,” she wanted to know where in Japan I came from. I laughed and said, “No, I’m an American Japanese,”

Then I asked, “Why do you want to know?” She responded, “I lived and worked in Japan for a year, so I am very interested in things Japanese.”

In fact she became interested in nursing because she worked in a hospital in Tokyo.

When I told her I wrote for The Rafu, she said she’d be interested in subscribing to the paper.

One thing about being in this hospital is that patients eat well and they give the patients a menu from which to choose what they want to eat. Never experienced that before.

Even for breakfast, I had a choice of oatmeal or cream of rice and what kind of drink I wanted (apple or cranberry juice).

I guess I forget how long it takes to write longhand as I’m doing today, but I’ll keep struggling along. Sure makes me appreciate my computer.

Kind of amusing when I see the nurses looking at me scribbling away on a hospital pad. One asked me, “What are you doing?”

I told her about being a newspaper columnist, but she really didn’t understand, especially since I told her about The Rafu. I guess most non-JAs have no idea about a Japanese/English daily newspaper.

I also overheard one nurse asking another, “What’s that old man doing writing on our hospital pad?”

Maybe it’s a good thing they don’t know about the “Horse’s Mouth.”

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Well, it’s about lunchtime. No, no rice. Main course, chicken.

I checked the menu for dinner. We’re being served pot roast. Not bad.

I guess I’ll miss my rice and tsukemono.

(Maggie’s comment: Thanks to J.K. He figured out the words “chicken” and “bad.” Those two words I could not read).

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Well, would you believe I’m running out of paper? The pad that I’m using was only a short supply. So when I asked the nurse if I could get another pad, she laughed and said, “We don’t expect our patients to be using our pad to write eight pages.”

This is it for Tuesday’s column. See ya Saturday.

George Yoshinaga writes from Gardena and may be reached via email at [email protected] Opinions expressed in this column are not necessary those of The Rafu Shimpo.

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