Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Dr. Windmill

One of the challenges of moving to a new country - especially if a work visa is to be obtained in the process - is having to jump through various hoops. Some of these are tedious; others, colorful and odious, among other things. So far, one of the more pleasant ones has been to meet and be examined (in some fashion) by a certain Dr. Windmill.

Dr. W and his wife operate out of a one-bedroom apartment in Midtown East and are the lucky recipients of referrals from the Belgian and other francophone embassies. They also appear to service francophone expats on an ongoing basis.

I had been warned by J that Dr. W may not exactly be politically correct. Among other things, he had recommended to J at the conclusion of his visit that he might want to lose some weight, because he is "a lee-ttle chubby." (Let's just establish that this is not the case.)

So, it was with some trepidation that I entered Dr. W's office. No comments were made about my portliness. He did, however, ask me a number of seemingly irrelevant questions surrounding my ethnicity, including my favorite, "But where are you from?" after I made it known that my nationality is American and I was born in Texas. (In all fairness, I don't look the part.)

The clinical conversation then progressed to the topic of venereal disease. After asking me a couple of questions, he volunteered that I would not believe the varietals of STDs - and "bad behavior" from which these might result - that he regularly encounters in his practice. I sadly admit I tried to egg him on. At which point, he reconsidered: "I could not possibly tell such a nice young woman such terr-eeble things."

Although I can't recall with complete certainty, I believe he also took my blood pressure.


Alana said...

I think once you are there, in Belgium, it is imperative, if not just for your mental sanity and acuity , to occupy yourself with a project (before perhaps pursuing the legal rights to practice psychotherapy to some capacity)such as attempting to get these entries published stateside or otherwise so that the rest of us occidental anglophones can open a book of your cultural translations and anecdotes every now and again before bed or over les moules et bieres and smile.

eurochik78 said...

remind me to tell you about the time that my friend who is 5'1" and 90 lbs soaking wet went to a national healthcare professional in London and was promptly told that she simply MUST shed some weight lest she dies of severe obesity.

britoutofwater said...

If this was one of the pleasant things you have to get through to get a visa, I hate to think what the more odious ones are like...