Friday, July 13, 2012

Acupuncturist's Side Income

To my darlings in Noord-Nederland and Duitsland,

There's a few rough patches in life since last year. One of them is my honourable mother had such a bad fall in the bathroom, her legs don't function as they used to be. She tried many things under the sun. Yesterday, her impulse propelled her to a new acupuncturist shop.

The acupuncturist is a soft spoken local Chinese lady married to a Chinese doctor from Macau. Both look young like in their early thirties. He struggled to amuse their 7 month old baby while she attended to Mom.

She inserted seven long needles on and around mom's right knee cap, followed by one round of moxibustion. Then the needles would have to stay in the knee for twenty minutes. Mom told our sweet face acupunturist to ignore us while waiting for the needles to work their prickly magic. Her husband quietly ordered a plate of rice and they both had lunch at the other side of the partition.

We can see this young couple have to work very hard on their new business. The rental and expenses for the small shoplot alone is three thousand ringgit monthly. We were the only customers there for one whole hour. She has to take another part time job as a visiting doctor in another Chinese Medcine shop twice a week. We estimated another ten thousand ringgit by just looking at the modest stock of Chinese herbal and zoological paraphernalia. When I saw this...

That, five big Chinese characters means something like errr " Special Grade Big Gecko", priced at 15 Malaysian Ringgit for one pair. Seriously, I love chicken, pork, beef and even crocodile jerky. But a reptilian jerky of this level - the size of my palm - puts even me - off.

Traditional Chinese Medicine reference books would tell you this cousin of the geckos I see every night on my white ceiling is good for respiratory problems such as asthma. The Macau doctor happily waved the lizard lollipops to my face as he shared a herbal soup recipe for my asthmatic dad. Mom and I side-eyed the heads and claws. " Of course, you chop off these," he quickly divined our yucky thoughts, " What we want is the torso and most importantly, the tail."

Mom left the shop with some herbs that are supposed to complement her acupuncture treatment and I walked away with the gecko - photo only.

"There's no way they can convince the locals to take this, the local people would rather eat the local giant monitor lizards ( which feed only on decaying dead bodies ) than pay 15 ringgit for these," mom prophesied. A plate of decent rice here costs about 7 ringgit.

Maybe the Surinamese have some ideas of making geckos more appetizing?

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