Just… (그냥…) Doctor! Doctor!
I’m fat. Whenever I visit my doctor he asks, ‘What do you think about your weight?’ I never know what to say. What the fuck are you supposed to say? I stifle a little laugh.
‘I love it. It’s great wobbling into a bathhouse looking like Grandpa Barbapapa.’
Once I replied, ‘not very sexy,’ but he didn’t get the joke.
I actually saw him in Samjeong Oasis bathhouse several weeks ago. I didn’t feel comfortable and left before he could see me. I should have talked to him. ‘Hey, Doc! What do you think of my weight? How would you like my awesome man tits?’
Another time, 8 years ago, I met him on the way to E Mart. A Saturday morning in autumn as I was waiting to cross the intersection. I’d just returned from the UK after having a hernia repair.
At the intersection he’s excited to see me and do you know what he proceeds to do? Examine my stomach! An on the street examination! Not many people can boast such a privilege.
Just as the lights turn green and a sea of pedestrians begin to cross the road, he pulls up my shirt, kneels on one knee, has a look at the scar and pokes around for a few moments. A little girls stood nearby, looking bewildered, stares.
It was hilarious! I didn’t even have to pay the extortionate 3000 Won (£1.50), usually charged for a consultation.
Back home in the shitty UK, your doctor doesn’t talk to you even when you’re in their surgery. If I passed my UK doctor on deserted street he wouldn’t know who I was and getting to see him in his surgery can involve waiting up to four days.
I like my Korean doc; he once gave me a tour of his new endoscopy machine but was a bit too enthusiastic as he waved about the part they stick down your gullet or poke up your backside. He was like a kid with a new toy.
Most UK local doctors don’t have such equipment and the most sophisticated toys my UK surgery have are stethoscopes and a weighing machine. Actually, two weighing machines because last time I visited them I was too heavy for one machine and had to stand on two. What surgeries in the west, ‘Lard Land,’ buy scales that only weigh up to 16 stone! Standing on two! That was embarrassing!
© Nick Elwood 2010 Creative Commons Licence.