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THE DOCTOR IS NEVER WRONG EVEN WHEN HE IS OR SHE IS WRONG – OR IN THAT CASE IT IS CLEARLY THE FAULT OF THE PATIENT OR HIS OR HER FAMILY THAT THE DOCTOR IS WRONG

November 21, 2018 8:50 am Published by

WE CONTINUE THE TALE OF THE FIVE ADVENTURESOME EXPATS IN JAKARTA

Once again, the dramatis personæ:

  • Droll Paul, very tall and very droll, a crooked English entrepreneur on the run from the authorities in Perth. A very leisurely Australian run actually, having to do with an awkward misunderstanding, one which could conceivably be interpreted as “fraud” were it unfortunate enough to be brought up in a court of law. Snooty, elegant and condescending, as well. Has a long bule nose and a management firm striving to impart mysterious advanced western corporate techniques to unsuspecting Indonesian start-ups [aka ‘marks’]. Looks down that long nose on the whole wide world. Basically a useless fuckwit selling useless shit. A ‘character’ (these are common in the East – particularly in Seminyak, where they are always trying to one-up each other). The others tolerate Paul, in spite of his manner – or rather, his lack of them). Why? Only God knows. Maybe just for fun.
  • Alan. Fresh, sweet, smart, fun Alan. He survived an insane Chinese-Indonesian gambling addict who attempted to have him killed for insurance money and a grinding ESL-teaching job at Bank Qabur. After that trial by fire he’ll do fine, rolling with the punches.
  • Lulu is knocking them back. She is what is known in the trade as a ‘serious drinker’. However, she is a solid citizen who pays her own way, tips the waitress fatly is entertaining and an all-around rewarding customer who knows how to hold her grog. She’s been married and divorced in Kuwait and married and divorced in Kazakhstan and married and divorced in California to a serial line of [immensely wealthy] dummies, lambs she has shorn neatly in divorce court. Is she on the lookout for a new hubby in blissfully unaware Indonesia? Not likely, as by now with the alimony she’s scraped off the hides of her various exes she could buy and sell just about all of the candidates. Watch her when she folds her folding money and stashes it in her purse: it’s frightening. So what’s she doing here? Oh she loves Indonesia. And it loves her (duit).
  • Brett is bad and he knows it. He grew up in a bad family living in a bad part of town. He likes Indonesia because folks here just assume a grumpy whitey is a bule gila and tolerate his moods. He actually tries to put a hold on ‘the Bad’ because otherwise sooner or later he’d be grabbed by the collar and given the bum’s rush out of Indonesia toot sweet. But he’s bad. Nobody likes him. Secretly, he envies everybody else, because they’re happy and he’s not. But don’t expect him to show it. Brett is currently >ahem< ‘out of work’ (but everybody knows he’s a notorious Remittanceman) (‘stay-away-for-pay’).
  • Hiroshi. First import-export… then ‘event organizing’… then ‘management consulting’ for shady Japanese companies… no one was quite sure what purpose the smooth, handsome Japanese man, 40 and looking 14, served in life. Hiroshi was always expensively-dressed, drove a luxury European car, and was a polite and careful listener. He met personal questions with a beaming smile, and not much else.

Tasty grub & potent grog are promptly ordered from the rich Ya Udah Bistro menu.

THE DOCTOR IS NEVER WRONG EVEN WHEN HE IS OR SHE IS WRONG – OR IN THAT CASE IT IS CLEARLY THE FAULT OF THE PATIENT OR HIS OR HER FAMILY THAT THE DOCTOR IS WRONG
‘The issue, darlings, is Quality Control / Quality Assurance’

PART THREE OF FOUR

 

‘Doctors in Indonesia have it easy’ Hiroshi purrs, ‘compared to a lot of countries.’

‘I don’t see why you would say that’ objects Alan. ‘I had an English Conversation class for doctors at Pertamina Hospital one year. Also nurses – that class was great fun. Nurses are full of energy and ambition and are very outspoken.’

‘Figures,’ comments Lulu.

‘But my doctors! Sit them down for a “Conversation Class” and BAM, within five minutes two-thirds of them are snoozing and the remaining third struggling to stay awake.

‘When I asked my Indonesian boss what the hell was happening he explained to me, very patiently, “Most of them go in for half a day in a Government hospital, early in the morning. Then they likely have patients they see at a private hospital, where the good money is. And many even keep a clinic in their homes in the evening. And it’s not because they are greedy. Lots of patients hate going into hospitals. They think that’s where you go to die. And in the old days it was the case. A doctor fresh from treating a terminal patient dying of diphtheria strolls over to deliver a baby, straightaway.

“’Wash my hands first? Are you insulting me? Little wee beasties causing disease, on my hands? How preposterous.’ So the poor woman shares whatever microbes and pathogens the doctor happens to have on his hands (which he did wash yesterday morning) and she and her baby or both die in the Delivery Room.”

‘My superior smiled and said “Such people are much more comfortable visiting a doctor in his own home.” Makes sense I guess.’

‘Doctors themselves also tend to die young,’ frowns Lulu. ‘Tell us your teevee documentary story, Hiroshi.’

‘Oh yes,’ he nodded. ‘I was in West Sumatra with a television crew. We were going to shoot a series of shows on a medical manager – a “dokter kabupaten”. We got off the airplane and hired a car to take us to the small town where he has his headquarters.

‘Raining like hell and all of a sudden he starts to shake and moan and loudly start praying.

‘The dopes behind me were saying “He needs air. Give him some air!” but I could clearly see the man was in serious trouble.

‘We stopped at a roadside bamboo warung – just coffee and noodles – and lay him on a bench. He shits his pants and dies.’

‘Wow, how thoughtless’ smiles Brett. ‘At least he could have waited until you completed shooting your video.’

‘Brett you are a piece of work’ laughs Lulu. ‘Real tactful diplomat’.

‘Well the guy’s dead’ Brett observes, ‘so he won’t mind my observation.’

‘If my assumption is correct’ says Paul, pedantically, ‘he was taking great care of his physicians, his nurses, his orderlies and patients, but ignoring his own health. Like a great number of medical men’.

‘Yep’ nodded Hiroshi. ‘Three packs a day of kreteks, poor diet, never exercised, continuous stress of work.’

‘And you can’t tell them anything.’

‘And you can’t tell them anything. They know it all.’

‘Did you complete the video?’ asks Alan.

‘We completed the video, with bits and pieces of older footage of him, and shots around the area where he worked. People were extremely sympathetic and cooperative.’

‘Wait until you hear my “dead doctor” story’ growls Brett.

Alan turns and winks at the Yaudah Bistro blog reader. ‘But we’ll have to wait until next week for that, right?’

Lulu: ‘A toast to the Yaudah Bistro blog reader!’

All: ‘To the reader!!’

 

 

 

[TO BE CONCLUDED]

 

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