Monday, July 16, 2012

Won't Miss #470 - being asked if I went to the doctor

Who needs a doctor when you can just use a charm?

Like most people, I occasionally catch a cold, have a stomachache or some other minor problem. Back home, if I told people, "I had a cold last week," their response would never be, "I'm sorry to hear that," or "I hope you're feeling better. They would never ask, "did you go to the doctor?" In Japan, whenever I have a small, temporary health problem, the inevitable query is about whether or not I was ministered to by a trained professional. This is because many Japanese people go to the doctor for incidental problems including those which can't be cured by a doctor (as the common cold cannot). They do this both because health care is so cheap and because many operate on the assumption that we cannot get better without the assistance of a trained professional. The idea that our immune system will look after us in such cases seems to be alien to most people there.

I won't miss being asked if I went to the doctor every time I have a minor illness or injury.