Walking back into Dr Sun’s office after the acupuncture treatment the other day, I bump into an elderly lady. She is talking to the assistant nurse and also waiting for Dr Sun.
She turns and starts talking to me pointing to her shoulder and pulls a miserable face.
Ah, I think. She also has a shoulder problem. I point to myself and then to my shoulder, meaning to say, I also have a shoulder problem.
She points to her nose and then points to her shoulder again.
“Interesting difference in culture,” I think “she points to her nose to identify herself; I point to my heart to identify myself.”
I point at her and then at her shoulder, then I point at myself and my shoulder. She smiles, I smile back. We keep pointing at ourselves and our shoulders for a while longer.
It becomes a play.
Then it’s time to go.
The next day the lady is there again. She is just finished with her treatment when I arrive. She points at her shoulder and I point at mine. We smile.
And of course she keeps on talking in Chinese to me.
The following day the same thing happens – a little friendship develops.
I start looking forward to meeting the little old lady.
Then, one day I arrive a bit late. There is a queue of 3-4 people at the reception. “Oh” – I’m concerned that this makes me even later.
The Chinese are keen on punctuality. The first day Dr Sun apologised for being busy with someone else for another 6 minutes.
That day, my friend is already at the reception, waiting in the queue to pay. I make moves to stand behind her. Immediately she waves me to the front of the queue and talks to the other people explaining something.
I can only assume that she is telling them to let this tall blond lady go first.
“It won’t take long, she is only signing in and needs to be on time for Dr Sun.”
Now, when was the last time you developed a little friendship that brightened your day and warmed your heart?
Is it time to have another go?
If you have difficulties with this and think “this won’t happen to me”, then maybe I could help you learn the skills.