Sunday, December 12, 2010

St Teresa's Hospital

I'm sitting in St Teresa's hospital waiting for my fiancee to be admitted, and I'm a bit concerned by the mural. It says "Jesus Please Heal Me" which doesn't suggest they have much faith in modern medical techniques.

Although it does say "please" as my fiancee has pointed out, so at least they're being polite. Still, it would seem simpler for Jesus to stop her from getting ill in the first place, rather than having to show off by curing her.

Of course, that would put all the doctors out of jobs. It's complicated, this.

She then told me that at least they spelt it properly. But that shouldn't have been difficult. You wouldn't ask Jesus to heel you. He was a carpenter, not a holy cobbler. Although some of the things the heel bar in Central MTR are nothing short of miraculous, they're hardly divine.

Anyway, the waiting area at St Teresa's is large and shiny and bright, and including a six foot tall television displaying encouraging news, like a montage of Vladimir Putin riding a horse, playing a piano, flying a plane and (apparently) doing stand-up. He must have been very good - people were applauding like their lives depended on it.

While my fiancee is in hospital, I'll be left with little to do: feed the cat, water the plants, read my monumentally bleak book about North Korea. I thought Emergency Sex, the book I read about the UN in Cambodia/Rwanda/Haiti was the most depressing thing I'd read this year, but Nothing To Envy may beat it out: the sheer awfulness of the institutional ruination of so many lives. Although one thing brought me up short: the claim that there were more informers in North Korea per capita than in East Germany. From what I read of Stasiland, the ratio was 1 in 10, which is at least parity with the Koreans (certainly more impressive than the frankly limp 1 in 100 the Gestapo could muster). I'll have to check if that really was what I remember it - but at least East Germany has had a (happy?) ending - the Diplomatic People's Republic of Korea seems to be grinding on, with no end to the misery and waste of human potential in sight.


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