Saturday, September 29, 2012

Free Smoking Area

I loathe visiting hospitals and i am sure most of us abstain from going to the hospitals if we are not too sick. But Choden was sick last week and i had to accompany her to Wangdicholing Hospital. When your near and dear ones are sick, you would even call up a disqualified Shaman to do whatever was not done.
By the time we reached the hospital, there were people already in a long queue waiting for the doctorji!
I volunteered to stand in the queue while choden took rest on a chair nearby. After about few hours, we finally had our opportunity. "Tell everything", i had whispered to Choden since a conference with a doctor is almost next to impossible these days. Despite, tell me when often do you see a friendly doctor?
"What happened?", the doctor asked as if he was presiding over a state funeral.
"Sick, doc", i chipped in. She helped me by explaining her symptoms.
"When did it happen?"
He checked her blood pressure. "Quite low", he murmured.
He then scribbled that famous doctoral diagnosis on the paper. I curiously bent low to sneak what he was writing down. We can only wonder why doctors can't write neatly.
"Thank you, la", i uttered as we stood up. He wouldn't even look up at me. :)
Frankly speaking, doctors in Bhutan are overburdened. But who aint overburdened?! We are all paid in equal measures for our work and the least we can do is apply some Grace in our work. Well you must have heard, doctors in Bhutan are underpaid comparatively. On the other end, no one is overpaid. Few months back, there were talks about why we should increase the salary of our Tshogpas in the LG. They claim that they do most of the work: calling up people for the meeting, carrying our notices to each doors, chaperoning Gewog guests etc while Ap Gup would sit in his chair! Ditto in the hospitals. Ask a sweeper how important his work is.
We are all imbued with notions that only the work that we do is important, other works are not as important as what you do! These days, it is more difficult to get a decent appointment with a doctor than the PMO.

On a lighter side, have you ever seen a good place to light up a cigarette? Do drop by the hospital side in Bumthang. They have a huge signboard attached to the main gate that reads: FREE SMOKING AREA!
(I regretted not taking my camera but i guess that signboard would be still there for years!)
I wanted to remind it to the doctor but the sight of that doctor frightened me and i thought might scold my poor vision. I re-read it. No mistake. I read the Dzongkha version: Tamku thung me chok(in Dzongkha)!
 A year ago, the famed National Referral Hospital in Thimphu had a signboard in its 3rd or 4th floor
 reading: ENT and Throat! I assume it is still there.
The Main Gate to Hospital

Area to light up...he he.
That is all for today. Good day ahead! 


  1. Sonam, that is the fact of life and accept it..the other day I went to immigration in Thimphu to inquire how i can process visa to Malaysia..before i completed my sentence, the lady behind the desk uttered, 'We dont do it here'in irritable manner...ignoring my full is all same everywhere..I also feel that docs in Bhutan should improve the attitudes, but that only takes time..don worry..
    I do encounter such attitudes sometimes but cant help it..
    Being patient only will make ur work done..

  2. Thanks Tshering. We grow a lot through hard times, i guess. In between, how are you doc? warm remembrances.:)

  3. Feed Choden green vegetables and healthy soup. Low BP is as risky as high BP only that she can enjoy good food when she has low BP.
    That sign board is very interesting and it deserves your time and energy to drive back with your camera and get a snap shot of it. Please do it.

    1. Come wednesday, i would get that caption captured in my camera. Regarding the bp, i agree with you Passu. Thanks a lot for the concern.

  4. Ya it's frustrating that we can't do anything about it. It is so much faster to get anything done here than back home. I was amazed by how chilips attend to every single person who comes to their office or shops. Every single customer or client is treated like a special person. We Bhutanese need to learn so much from developed countries or will have to remain far behind. Let's hope the best from the coming generation lol....

    1. Truly sonam. Back at home we cant even raise our voice. There it is a free world. Things are too systematic and that happens only when there is loads of development, i guess.

  5. Hmm tats quite a encounter, hope she gets well soon, take care of your Choden mate!!! she is there in almost all your posts.

  6. Thanks Reeeks! I miss talking to you esp with a bottle of beer and debating everything under the sun:) Hope all is well at your side. Warm wishes:)

  7. Ahhh I didn't know that Choden was sick. I hope that she feels better. Sometimes I feel bad for Doctors because they have to deal with sick people all day, but then i remember they chose that profession so they should put some grace into it like us teachers. Wink Wink lol.

    Funny Pictures - Free smoking area. I guess the other areas do cost money - a big fine?

  8. Actually Sabrina, the signboard wanted to convey "Smoke Free Area" since it is legally banned throughout Bhutan despite it was in the hospital vicinity. The painter did rest of the work to mean it otherwise!:)