Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Damned if I do and Damned if I don't

This past two weeks is the busiest period of time for my job. That is a shame because there was a lot to write about and I was just too tired to care. Well, better late than never.

Last Friday the HK observatory raised the number 8 typhoon warning for the first time in two years. What a joke. They closed the city down for a mild thunderstorm. However what makes that giggle worthy is that it was an obvious overreaction to their lack of competence over the past two years.

Last year we had an actual honest to God typhoon come through here and they never raised more than a red rain storm warning despite the airport being being closed for a typhoon for several hours. The excuse given on TV was that because the winds never reached typhoon strength over the observatory they didn't feel a higher signal was warranted (that must have been the only place they didn't) was lame even for HK. Several months before that we had another strong storm come through that caused mudslides in the New Territories which killed a couple of people. We didn't get either a Black Cloud (Severe Thunderstorm) or a typhoon 8 signal (Hurricane) raised for that storm either. In both cases the observatory took a lot of well deserved criticism and honestly someone, or several someones should have lost their jobs though this being the HK government nobody did. Now that they are taking so much flak for overreacting to a breezy thunderstorm we probably won't get another typhoon 8 signal hoisted until the wind blows the HSBC building over.

But, not everything was bad new last week. Ma Lik died young of cancer. Oh boy I'll drink to that. Now he can ask Den Xiao Ping how many people really died at Tianamen Square in 1989. Too bad he can't then make a statement of apology in the SCMP.

Lastly I went to the doctor today. God I hate the HK health care system. Lets not even talk about having an 11:00 AM appointment and getting my number called at 12:50 PM. The government doctors here exhibit all the compassion and empathy of a French waiter. Actually the waiters are friendlier. I want to complain about the treatment.

I've been walking around on a swollen, painful ankle for nearly two years. I have to wear high topped shoes and a compression bandage everyday and I take anti-inflammatory medication for it as well. All that while I have been shuffled from one government specialist to another for a definitive diagnosis. Today they told me it was ligament and tendon damage but that they didn't ever recommend surgery on this condition for people not in their twenties. In other words: Take a pain killer and limp you unlucky bastard; because its going to hurt and we don't care!" I told the doctor that was unacceptable and he basically told me to go home and not come back. He came very close to needing some plastic surgery on his nose and possibly some dental implants. If I'd known that he'd have to use the public system rather than a private plastic surgeon in Vancouver or London I'd have hit him more than the once he deserved. But, only being an angry Gweiloh in my heart I didn't punch his lights out; I just left.

I ceased to have any admiration or trust in the HK health system when my Mother-in -Law died several years ago and it hasn't done anything restore my confidence.

What makes it worse is that the private doctors here all exhibit a scary level of incompetence or sliminess that causes me to feel that I have much of a choice. Besides I pay the taxes to support the public health system here I ought to be able to use it. I get tired of being labeled a "Rich Westerner" especially since I'm not.

So, I'm kind of damned if I do and damned if I don't and neither way do I feel I've seen a real doctor.

I really find that I get better treatment and more heartfelt concern for my health from the Chinese clinic across from the Tin Hau MTR station. I wonder what they can do for a gimpy ankle? I may find out soon.

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Blogger who hasn't had a very good week

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