last week I took my boy to one of those little volunteer run hospitals to have him get his immunization shots. When I arrived a lady from the stuff asked me some questions from a questionnaire.
lady: is your wife still breast feeding?
lady: very good, how many times a day?
me: well, let’s see, after work and the evening, I dunno, throughout the night and
often in the morning, if she’s not late for work.
lady: ok, so we can say once a day.
me slightly irritated: no, that is not what I just said, is it?
lady: well that’s ok, it doesn’t matter.
me: wow, well then why do you ask me this questions anyway?
lady all warm and smiling: because we care for your infant!
the lady was nice, I got a little irritated, that in turn irritated the lady still smiling, the nurse girls around were all giggling and applauding me for my good command of Chinese.
I had thousands of similar communications during my years here in Taiwan and often wondered what my dialog partners think when they communicate like this.
And it’s not just verbal communication.
The rules on all playgrounds I have been here on this island state, in Chinese and English, that the facilities are designed to be used by kids between 6 and 12 exclusively.
Some of the slides are just 1 meter high, it does not make sense at all. Maybe playgrounds are not for young children, maybe it is a good place to make out after school. But then the age group is wrong nevertheless.
try to ask a Taiwanese parent about that and you probably get into a conversation like the one I posted up here in this post.
Never saw ages but sometimes a weight is written on see saws…and do you mean months or years?? Very rarely have I seen 12 year olds on slides. They are not into that anymore. And kids below 6 are all over the place
Sorry you had a bad time with the lady…maybe next time you can say half a day and that will be that
6 to 12 refers to years - but month would be odd just the same.
I’m in Taichung, not sure if it’s the same in Taipei or other places.
it’s not that I had a bad day. it is just that some of these conversations give me a taste of, don’t know how to say that, of madness maybe, although that is a little strong.
i know what you mean. we often think differently and have different values. neither is “better”, they are just different. and these differences, when exposed, become frustrating.
very, very frustrating.
i wonder if you ended the q-and-a session with “hen wu-liao” and a little playful smile and a laugh what she would have done.
I don’t buy that we just have “different ‘values’, but both are on equal terms”.
let me play hardcore for a moment:
in that interview, the lady was not interested in knowing what I had to say, she was not interested in the well being of my boy, but insisted that she is.
seems to me that this is a common theme in Taiwan. people don’t give a shit and are only interested in the “nice form”, the outside so to speak.
to hold that as a value, what value would that be? I would call it “ugly indifference covered with sweet harmony coating”. Is this it?
Why do you say that? We quantify many other things, why can’t we quantify values? Not all values are equal. Some are better than others. Not all cultures are equal either. I’m not interested in ranking Taiwan in a hierarcy of cultures or nations, but to say that they’re all equal is glib and facile.
Yeah, time and again. Yet if you try to cut through it and ask for actual information, you are the rude foreigner.
True. The idea is that you are not supposed to “think too much” and start asking questions ! Resistance is futile in Taiwan. The nurses giggling just makes it worse though. You will kill yourself to get the truth and a straight honest answer.
I just remember the birth of our baby.
During the hours of labor the doctor who was assigned to assist birth, the one who we went to see during pregnancy check-ups and so on… never showed up once.
When the birth was imminent, the nurse got a little rattled and went to the floor to yell for some other doctor, a complete stranger to us.
About 10 minutes after the baby was born “our” doctor came into the room
“pai saay, I was stuck in the elevator”
- the birth went just fine without any complication - but what if not? my wife, in pain, knew that there was no doctor around. I was too stressed to think much that moment.
Now it’s just another story that shows that the lack of real concern for anything is as hard-wired as driving recklessly.
A “sorry” no matter how casually spoken trumps all valid consternation. It’s a magic word that can’t be challenged.
[quote]A “sorry” no matter how casually spoken trumps all valid consternation. It’s a magic word that can’t be challenged.
True. I had a baby in Beijing, C-section. all went well despite a medical emergency for my newborn.
Another lady left the country to get the bestest possible care in her home country in Europe and also got a very good experienced doc to perform the surgery. The baby during the procedure got a cut on his bum and was bleeding profusely. He still has a deep scar. When the parents were narrating the story (recently)you could still feel their horror…the father after a few hours went up to the doc to kind of get an explanation how his little one got hurt, and the doc goes ‘better on the bum than on the face’ :bluemad:
Who wants to admit guilt and have a law suit slapped on them? Or was it just rudeness?
Well, doctors’ mistakes kill and maim people. Yet they will always make mistakes; to assume they won’t is not logical. It’s like flying; we’re horrified at the thought of human error, although we constantly make mistakes in our personal and professional lives. They are cutting live babies out of live mothers, with really sharp stuff. The membranes that surround the uterus are tricksy. Kids and mothers are going to get nicked, sometimes.
Doctors in your own countries aren’t really ‘listening’ either.
Up until now I had never considered planes were flown by people. I had always worried about mechanical failure. Now my long haul flights will be that much more miserable.
sure even House MD is wrong once in a while.
my point was more about the doctor in question not being there where she should be. You can postpone an operation if the doctor isn’t there, but not a birth. oh well maybe you can, but you are getting my point.
sure even House MD is wrong once in a while.
my point was more about the doctor in question not being there where she should be. You can postpone an operation if the doctor isn’t there, but not a birth. oh well maybe you can, but you are getting my point.[/quote]
I don’t understand. You and your wife wanted the attending to be the same one she saw in her pregnancy but he was stuck in a lift and you got someone else.
Stuck in a lift. Not playing golf or having a massage. Exactly what did you expect? For the lift not to get stuck? Sue the doctor for taking the lift rather than the stairs?
Why do you say that? We quantify many other things, why can’t we quantify values? Not all values are equal. Some are better than others. Not all cultures are equal either. I’m not interested in ranking Taiwan in a hierarcy of cultures or nations, but to say that they’re all equal is glib and facile.[/quote]
Eeek. This is what happens when you edit your post too much! What I meant wasn’t cultural values, but two agents valuing information differently.
As in, the OP values giving correct information, while the nurse values having a completed form.
Sorry for the confusion here!
Sandman, I’ll quote the relevant parts to help you understand a bit better.
Who gets “stuck in a lift” for several hours?
[quote=“ice raven”]Sandman, I’ll quote the relevant parts to help you understand a bit better.
Who gets “stuck in a lift” for several hours?[/quote]
So he just doesn’t believe the doctor was really stuck in a lift? Why? Did the doctor previously strike him as untrustworthy? In which case, why didn’t he object to having that doctor assigned? I sure wouldn’t be happy about some guy I didn’t trust delivering my kid.
Who gets stuck in a lift for several hours? Loads of people, depending on what’s wrong with the lift and how long it takes to get fixed. I, for example, got stuck for almost 6 hours in a lift on one memorable occasion. With a pretty girl whose anxiety over being trapped caused her to fart pretty much the entire time.
BINGO! This is not a Tawianese VS ex-pats discussion at all. And shame on anyone who thought it was.
Your child is being born/sick and your mind is in overdrive. The hospital is more used to seeing angry irritated emotional pent up people than you can imagine. They deal with your stupids by appearing nonchalant, or by brazenly ignoring your out of whack emotions. There is no language issue, no race issue, no competency issue. There is you being a parent, and them having to deal with you. Simple.
How about the poor doctor stuck in a ruddy lift? And think it through, who the hell gets stuck in a lift for 5 minutes? It takes hours once one of those things breaks. You know, he might have been scared for his life. Did you ask him how he was, or did you say something snide to his face about him being late?
Every time I read one of these threads I think: That person doesn’t like not being fully in control of their life in Taiwan.
Why do I think that? Because these things you talk about happen here in the UK too, and they have nothing to do with race, language or competency. They happen because we all have to achieve different goals. And because sometimes shit just happens.
I did not express myself correctly, sorry.
she was not stuck in the lift. She did not make it on time because she was waiting for the lift. the lift was not malfunctioning, just overcrowded and slow.
[quote]That person doesn’t like not being fully in control of their life in Taiwan.[/quote] what does that mean?
Up until now I had never considered planes were flown by people. I had always worried about mechanical failure. Now my long haul flights will be that much more miserable.[/quote]