Saturday, May 12, 2012

Doctor Who?

I’ve never been very fond of hospitals. I’ve seen too many movies to realise that they’re not nice places to be in. Sometimes, people go into hospitals and they never come out again. Other times, they end up falling in love with some gorgeous doctor and as anyone who’s ever watched Grey’s Anatomy will tell you, doctors have the worst relationships.
Maybe that was why my mother, betraying every single Chinese DNA in her body, refused to even entertain the idea that any of her children would become doctors.
“People only come to see you when there’s something wrong with them. Choy!” she exclaimed when my sister Michelle announced she wanted to be a cardio-thoracic surgeon. “Better to be a chartered accountant!” she added.
Which is how my sister ended up in a job where she spends her whole day looking at numbers. She loathes it. “I hate rich people,” she said the other day. “I hate rich people and their stupid rich problems about where they’re going to hide their stupid money. I wish I was rich and had those kinds of problems. I would have had problems like that if I’d been a cardio-thoracic surgeon!”
Meanwhile, Amanda is a few steps closer to realising her dream about becoming a doctor’s wife.
Sharyn’s husband had to go into hospital for surgery on his hips and she insisted that we accompany her for moral support.
“We’re not married to your husband, Sharyn,” Saffy said reasonably. “He’s your problem.”
“Ay! Excuse me! Who hold your hand when your boyfren Blad-ley got motorbike accident? Who come with you to the doctor when you get chicken-pock? And some more, who come with you to lasik doctor and take you home? Now, I ask you come with me to hospital also cannot, ah? Wah lau eh!” She then broke into a string of excited Hokkien.
Saffy later said that being scolded by Sharyn was like being whipped to death by a piece of wet tissue. But she added that if she was going, then so were we.
“I hate hospitals! You pick up so many germs there!” Amanda complained even as she shimmied her Lanvin-clad body into the cab. “I’m going to have to dry-clean all my clothes when we come back!”
“She’s not even my friend!” I grumbled.
Saffy’s impressive bosom inflated as it preceded her into the cab. “Listen, I’m just asking you to spend a few hours keeping me company and after everything that I’ve done for you two, it’s the least you could do!”
            Amanda’s icy tones penetrated the chill of the cab. “And exactly what have you ever done for me?”
We bickered all the way to Mount Elizabeth and into the lift where there was a brief pause. Amanda frowned.
“Isn’t Sharyn’s husband a contractor? How is he affording to have his operation at Mount E?” she asked, her brain already ticking up the cost.
“Oh my God,” Saffy exclaimed, “contractors make so much money! He just bought himself a new Mercedes-Benz!”
“Meanwhile, his wife still shops at G-2000,” Amanda sniffed.
The lift stopped at the third floor and at this point, things got a bit hazy for Amanda. Both Saffy and I remember a doctor walking in, and not much else. We can’t multi-task and we were still too busy concentrating on bickering. We think he was a doctor because he was wearing a white lab coat, though Saffy rightly points out that he could just as easily have been a lab technician.
Amanda, on the other hand, swears she lost several seconds of her life. “I took one look in his eyes and after that, I can’t remember a thing!” she told Sharyn. “He was gorgeous! No wait, I do remember his name. The nurse next to him was calling him Dr Mehta!”
“There was a nurse?” Saffy asked me. I told her I’d barely registered his presence in the lift, let alone anyone else who might have been with him.
“He smiled at me,” Amanda reported to the world at large. “I think I’ve fallen in love!”
Sharyn stared at Amanda, torn between immersing herself into the drama unfolding before her and tending to her pitiable husband currently hooked up to a drip after his operation. She ended up feebly patting her husband’s hand and said to Amanda, “How can?”
We’re still at Mount E. Saffy is helping Sharyn decode the post-op instruction sheet and medication list, while Amanda has gone off to stalk Dr Mehta. The last thing she said before she stepped out of the room was, “Amanda Mehta. It has such a ring to it!”
You could see the future shining in her eyes. 

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