Monday, April 21, 2008

Bonjour Docteur

On our recent trip to Paris, we had occasion to call for medical help.  Alan's Dad had had a fall on the Metro escalator and also had a bad cold and a few other unmentionable complications.  Fortunately, there is a visiting doctor service in Paris, perfect for these situations.

We phoned them up and asked, wildly hopeful, "Parlez-vous anglais?"


I rolled up my sleeves, took a deep breath and somehow managed to get through the next few minutes, telling the very kind, very patient woman at the other end that I needed a doctor for my 80 year-old father, our address, our access code and what the trouble seemed to be.


Would we like a doctor who spoke English? 

Enthusiastic agreement that that would be a good idea.

The doctor showed up quickly.  Much, in fact, earlier than we had expected.  He checked Dad out and prescribed a huge bag of pills.

It was only later that I realized I may have inadvertently told the operator that Dad was dying.  Or possibly dead.

Note to self - a French vocabulary that consists almost entirely of food and cooking terms is of very little value when travelling with crumblies.


M said...

ooh - that's sweet and poignant
I have a crumbly dog....

Barb McMahon said...


It's good to be reminded to be careful with people (or dogs).

KSV Woolfoot said...

I am a devotee of "Musings From A Muddy Island" and found the link to your blog there. I just read a few of your posts and I think they are great - (probably because I feel like I might have written them myself [except then they would be full of type-os]). My French and hair are bad too. I am basically unemployable - although I have managed to remain employed through most of the last 20 years. There is an obscure, but good, Warren Zevon song, "The French Inhaler," do you know it? Warren asks the question, "How you gonna make your way in the world woman when you weren't cut out for workin'" There's more but it's that line that always gets me. I'll be back again. I like your blog.

Barb McMahon said...

That's so nice, Kim! Thanks so much. You've made my day!