Saturday, February 24, 2007


As I'm going over the paperwork regarding my patients upcoming operation, she suddenly perks up and interjects:

Patient: What kind of oriental are you?

Me: [A bit taken aback] I'm sorry?

Patient: Are you Vietnamese?

Me: No. I'm Korean.

Patient: Well, you look very Vietnamese.

[Lacking an appropriate answer, I make a "whatever" face and shrug.]

Patient: You're not Chinese, no?

Me: [sigh] No, I'm still Korean.

Patient: Well, I was going to wish you a Happy Chinese New Year, but nevermind.


Patient: Do you Korean-style orientals celebrate the Chinese New Year?

What?! Korean-style orientals? WTF? A hundred witty retorts leap into my head and try to come out my mouth simultaneously. But I bite my tongue and keep quiet. Instead, I give her a short stare to convey that I'd like to get back to the paperwork at hand, and that I've grown tired of the tanget this conversation had taken.

At first it used to surprise me that people would say such dumb and offensive things at inappropriate times. But I guess that's how ignorance declares itself. I used to try to correct and educate people, but that really isn't my chosen purpose in life. Now I just laugh about it later. Besides, you'd be amazed how many people get offended when you try to educate them... No matter how politely it's done.

Anyway, my patient's comment reminded me that this is the Year of the Pig. But, it's not just any ordinary year of the pig, it's the year of the Golden Pig.

What's so special about the Golden Pig? It's an event that supposedly occurs every 600 years due to the rare chance alignment of the 12 Asian zodiac signs, 5 elements, and the ying/yang balance. People born in the ordinary year of the pig are thought to be quite lucky to begin with, but those lucky to be born during this rare Golden Pig year will reap endless amounts of fortune during their lives. Rumor has it that any child born under the sign of the Golden Pig will be very prosperous, wealthy, intelligent, courageous, blah blah blah.

Of course, my parents believe that now is the perfect time for Nathalie to get pregnant and have started to apply full-court pressure. It only makes sense that we should optimize the future for our child and give birth under such an auspicious sign instead of waiting until next year, which could just as well be the Year of the Cursed Rat, and give birth to a demon child.

It's too bad that neither Nathalie or I happen to be superstitious. Golden Pig or no pig, we have no plans for baby-making this year.

But I'm sure both Nathalie and my parents remain hopeful.

This reminds me of a quote from Dumb and Dumber.
(Click here for an actual sound byte. It'll open in a new window.)

Lloyd: What are the chances of a guy like you and a girl like me... ending up together?

Mary: Well, that's pretty difficult to say.

Lloyd: Hit me with it! I've come a long way to see you, Mary. The least you can do is level with me. What are my chances?

Mary: Not good.

Lloyd: You mean, not good like one out of a hundred?

Mary: I'd say more like... one out of a million.


Lloyd: So you're telling me there's a chance... YEAH!!

       -Dumb and Dumber