Monday, 5 October 2009

The Eighth One: To the crystal dome!

You have robbed my revenge of sweetness, and now I must go hence in bitterness, in debt to your mercy. I hate it and you! Well, I go and I will trouble you no more. But do not expect me to wish you health and long life. You will have neither. But that is not my doing. I merely foretell.

First some old business. In the last blog I forgot to mention what happened when I went to Mount Ruapehu. Nothing much. It was big and impressive as mountains tend to be. It was also used as Mount Doom in the Lord of the Rings films. There was no burning eye on top of a tower to be seen. I would mention it but everyone here in New Zealand is obsessed with Lord of the Rings. Won’t stop going on about it.

(Myth I would like to spread #2 Everyone in New Zealand is obsessed with Lord of the Rings. They like it because there’s no swearing in it.)

This weekend I went to Hamilton. (Not the real one in Scotland, the backup they have in New Zealand in case the one in Scotland gets destroyed.) There is not much to report about Hamilton. It was raining the whole day so I can only assume that it always rains in Hamilton. There is a statue of Richard O’Brian dressed as Riff raff from the Rocky Horror show. I don’t know why. I think it would be better if the statue was of him playing the harmonica in the crystal dome. But sadly I don’t get to decide what pointless statues people erect (he he). For all I know there’s a plinth featuring Noel Edmunds on the other side of town.

There was a great story in the museum about the first white settlers to come to Hamilton. They were sailing up the Waikato river and this woman, Theresa somebody or other walked up to one of the other people on the boat and asked if they would hold her baby. They happily obliged and were probably quite surprised when she jumped overboard and swam to the shore laughing. She later became reasonably wealthy selling signatures as the first white woman to set foot in “Hamilton”. One day we may look back at this story and see the start of reality TV stars. Possibly today! (Probably not today)

Unconnected to this I also found out that foreign reindeer are not allowed to enter New Zealand. Apparently they carry some sort of disease that affects cows. New Zealand having a highly agricultural economy can’t allow this to happen. That is why even to this day, in New Zealand, it is always winter, but never Christmas.

I have also had my Maori Health/pronunciation class. This was very good and in the very least should help me with looking at road signs and saying my destination properly. This would be even more useful if I had a satellite navigation system. I don’t but it would be really useful. That’s why from now on when I watch the Haka I will nod afterwards and go yep. The pronounced that right. Unless it’s live in which case I’ll say nothing. I would very much like not to get beaten up by the New Zealand rugby team. Or all the Maori people.

A large part of my elective was to be experiencing how Maori health beliefs interact with “Western” (I don’t like that term but don’t have a better one) medicine. So this bit of teaching on Maori health beliefs was very handy. What I liked about it was that while I may be unaware of a lot of traditional Maori culture and particularly with how it should apply to medicine, was that essentially you could get around it by being polite, respectful and generally nice to your patients. For example it doesn’t matter if you don’t know that the pelvic exam shouldn’t be carried out because it is sacred as the source of all your future children if you explain carefully why it needs to be performed, ask if there’s any particular problems the patient has with it and then following this politely gain consent for the important examination. Obviously it’s good if you can be aware of your patient’s culturally held health beliefs but it is not essential. If you just assume that as a human being they care about what happens to themselves and that you respect this and ask them about what they think before you barge in and ram them in an MRI machine then it should come good.

This is obviously what I actually think but also a prelude to what I have to say next so you don't think I'm completely a terrible person. All kids that enter the library have to agree to be quiet and not run around like instead of blood they have amphetamines. If they don’t agree to this, they can still come into the library, but if I am there and I am trying to write some of my elective report on Maori health beliefs then they risk by being attached to a catapult, flung over a distance of 25 metres where they will land in a pile of books which on closer inspection will turn out to be copies of Hairy MacClarey from Donaldson’s Dairy by Lynley Dodd. On fire. The fire will then be put out by throwing rotten kiwi fruit full of water onto the flames. The children won’t die. I’m not evil. They will just learn not to run and scream in the library.

Last year was the 25th anniversary of the release of Hairy McClarey from Donaldson’s Dairy by Lynley Dodd. Since I used to love this book and since I didn’t know about the anniversary and since Lynley Dodd is from New Zealand I thought I might as well say Happy Birthday Hair McLarey now. Good dog!

Has everyone forgotten about that awful kids in the library paragraph yet?

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