Lessons on the street

One day early in 2015, we stopped to look in the window of a streetside 小儿推拿 (pediatric massage) streetside clinic in our new neighbourhood. The clinic was a typical streetside one: a little 3 room place, massage tables, and a desk at the front.

The doctor was lively, very good with his young patients, and demonstrated this incredible traction technique, by which he suspended a child by its skull, letting the entire body dangle below!

Then yet another man was drawn to come in off the street by the theater of seeing foreigners interact with a tui-na doctor, and to listen to us speak English. He stood next to me, and we cobbled together a conversation in our English & Chinese. My spoken Chinese being quite un-fluent and his English education having been cut short  because he’d been caring for his mother (who has Alzheimer’s)  for years. He shyly welcomes any chance he gets in his limited life to use English, and told me that he came in to the clinic because he was 好奇, which i figured out (with my Pleco dictionary) meant “curious” — thus the experience taught us both a new word!


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