Tuesday, June 3, 2014

I say, "Arigatou," you say, "Odajini."

The first time I set foot into the Kiuchi Ladies Clinic, I walked in without a thought of removing my shoes at the door.  My now thorough familiarity with the whole routine of visits is a small victory and a great pleasure.  I now know to remove my shoes and put on slippers, to walk to the desk and hand them my patient card.  They may ask for my health insurance card and then I hand that to them.  They say something, and then I correctly respond by going into the side room to measure my own weight, blood pressure and pulse (which I can now do without any help!), they hand me the card in a plastic holder on a lanyard which I put around my neck and then I wait for my name to be called.  I then go sit outside a door until it opens, from which point I bask in the glow of a doctor who speaks English.  She then sends me back out into the world of uncertainties where I once again wait for my name to be called, get my medicine, and then pay the amount on the slip that is handed to me.  By this point I feel pretty appreciative of all I've learned and the help given to me, so I say, "Arigatou gozaimasu," (which means "thank you")  and on cue, all the women at the receptionist desk–because it is a doctor's office and the proper response–answer, "Odaijini," (take care).

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