Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Patient: So are you Chinese?

Me: No, I'm Korean.

Patient: Korean? What's that?

Me: That's my ethnicity.

Patient: I've never heard of that. So if you're not Chinese, is it like being Japanese? Or Vietnamese?

Me: No. Being Korean is being Korean.

Patient: [furrows brows] So where's Korean?

Me: It's Korea, and it's a peninsula off of China.

[Wait. If this lady doesn't even know that Korea is a country, will she know what the word "peninsula" means?]


Me: Korea is a bit of land that juts out of the southeastern side of China. Kind of like how Florida juts out from rest of the United States.

Patient: So you're from China?

Me: No. I'm from Korea. It's a separate country. It just happens to be located off of China.

Meanwhile, I'm getting a little annoyed and thinking to myself: Wow, is this conversation really happening? I've got 8 more patients to see this morning and I'm here doing this? Has this woman ever been to school? Even if she were a grade-school dropout, doesn't she remember the Korean War? She's definitely old enough to have lived through that...

[Then I spot her keys to her Hyundai laying next to her Samsung cell phone... priceless.]