Renu's Week

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Report of 23 Sept 2018

Good evening on a sunny day -

The sea is picture-perfect, traffic is rolling along on the Muttukadu bridge, heading homewards maybe.  It is a trifle hot, so our living room fan is on full blast.  I have eaten a delicious chicken roll from Scott's favorite Crescent Bakery (Crescent usually = Muslim) and a nice salad - red and yellow bell peppers (or capsicum, as we say here) + cucumbers and salt, oregano (brought here from the U.S.) and lemon juice.  Our refrigeration techniques are poor, so our produce is usually fresh and this was.

The newspaper today had a lengthy article on pests from the Americas decimating our crops.  Customs in the U.S. is unfailingly stern about checking incoming travellers' luggage for fruit, etc.  One year, I had some cut apple for our young sons and had forgotten about it; as the sniffy dog came up to my backpack, I opened it and there was the fruit.  The agent was kind - she said, "Yes, I usually carry fruit for my children, also," waited while I threw it, and did not make it sound like I was a common criminal.  Our newspaper today stated that we had to be similarly vigilant about fruit/veges/flowers coming in here from overseas.

Work is good.  As I told my colleagues at my U.S. workplace this year, never feels like work.  Monday mornings have our hugely busy clinic at our seaside village, Kovalam.  Last week, a mentally ill lady was referred to me by our psychiatrist for weakness and fatigue.  As I checked her over, I asked who the young girl was with her; she mentioned it was her daughter, who had stopped studying on her brothers' edict to care for her mother.  I was livid; I truly cannot tolerate this stop-studying-to-care-for-a-relative business when education is the only way out of poverty.  Our community workers are excellent at making our patients understand such concepts and I left this matter in the capable hands of one of them.  The young lady was also recently engaged to a relative and I cannot stand this business, either; beyond stating that one should not marry a relative, we had to drop the matter as the engagement had been finalised and any breakage would reflect extremely poorly on the girl.  The family did hasten to add that the fiance was not a close relative and we are grateful for small mercies.

Adaikalam - our residential facility in Mogappair - is also fine.  We have a patient from the U.S. who is reeling from mental and physical illness; as she questioned the management here, stating that she was in the care of doctors from the U.S., I mentioned that my credentials were from the U.S., too.  That appeared to mollify her and we talked a lot.  I feel for those who are family-less due to their illness; I know I would be less than whole if I could not talk or email or Whatsapp the fam.

Scott turned a year older yesterday.  He cut a scrumptious cake the Banyan had made, we went out  to lunch and then got to hang out with the boys today.  A low-key day; as Scott told our sons when one wished him an eventful or relaxed day (whichever he chose), he tends toward 1 speed now - "Parked."

Today, we attended the wedding of a former nurse colleague and that was fun.  We like surprising the populace by showing up.  Weddings here involve large numbers of guests, usually no RSVP's, and we try to go to as many as we are invited to.  I missed many a cousin's wedding when we lived in the U.S.

We saw a bunch of good movies - 2 Tamil and the English "Searching."  Mr. Cho has certainly developed some dramatic chops after "Harold and Kumar ..." and it was good viewing.  The premise - of a lost child - was, of course, unsettling.  The movie was well-done and that is always good.

Have a very good week!

Unw -



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