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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Lavese las manos

I was in the ER at Ridges Hospital late one night with a friend who had a nasty migraine. She was back with the staff for some time, and I'd had a soda, so I ended up in the restroom. The inside of the stall door had one of those signs instructing patients how properly to collect a urine specimen. This one had the steps in English and Spanish, and I thought, cool! Then I read them. (I'd been at the hospital a long time already - reading urine collection isntructions was better than the blaring late-night television and the woman with the baby screaming "I see you fucking everywhere, man!" at some couple with a small child).

The problem: six steps in English, seven steps in Spanish. My Spanish...well, my Spanish is pretty much limited to what I (1) remember from 7th grade, (2) have learned watching Sesame Street with my daughter, and (3) have learned watching Dora with my daughter. Okay, it's a little better than that, but still, it stinks. It took me a minute, but I found the extra step (it was tucked in the middle, not at the end, which might have made it easier to spot). Spanish speakers are advised to "lavese las manos" - WASH YOUR HANDS.

That leads me to several questions. Are the bodies of English speakers not hotbeds of bacteria? Do English speakers not need hygiene reminders? Does speaking Spanish increase the levels of bacteria one harbors? Do Spanish speakers not wash their hands after urinating unless told to do so?

And one more thing: what, exactly, does it mean that that woman with the baby and the couple with the kid are always bumping into one another in places like emergency rooms?


Blogger LissyJo said...

Aren't all spanish-speakers stupider and dirtier than english-speakers?

October 20, 2005 7:16 AM  

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