On communicating in different cultures (part 2)

Posted by in Change, Life, Travel

For my IDC (the diving instructor course) I was required to present a medical statement in which I am declared physically fit by a GM/physician. I had one of these done already last year when I did the Dive Master, but apparently that wasn’t enough.
So in my study material there was a form with -again- all these questions.
Do I have any allergies (not to my knowledge)? Am I pregnant (not to my knowledge)? Do I have or have I had heart problems (too big, but I doubt that will be a problem with diving)? Am I over 45 and smoking (the first almost, the second no)?
So yes. All the answers to those questions were no.
But that needs to be checked and confirmed by a physician.

I know that if I would’ve taken this form to a physician in Finland I would’ve been about half a day further and 250€ lighter before I would’ve got it stamped and signed.

When I came to the course here on Bali, they told me it was just a matter of minutes to get it done.
And lo and behold… Five minutes before closing time of the clinic I ran in. Sweaty and heart pounding in my throat, because I had just about ran there (in 34 degrees Celcius and 90% humidity).
I went to the reception, a table with a chair and a friendly Indonesian older lady, and I told her I needed a stamp from the doctor to prove I was fit for diving.
That blank stare again…

I showed her the form, at which she looked for a second with that same blank stare, and then she got up, gestured me to wait in the universal “STOP” language, and ran into a small room next to her desk. About 30 seconds later she came out again, gestured another “STOP” sign, and told me “Sit!” with a very friendly smile, which translated clearly into “Please sit down and wait, the doctor will be right with you!”
I sat down and not much later a young lady came out of the room and asked me if she could help. I told her I needed a signature and confirmation from the doctor that would tell the people at the diving school that I was in sufficient condition for diving. She kindly told me that the doctor was in later, after 19, but I didn’t really feel like waiting that long (and I was wondering about that timing, because they were to close at 5), so I told her that tonight wasn’t a good time, and that tomorrow I had a full day program and this really was kind of a urgent matter.
She told me she was the doctor’s assistant, but if I was ok with it, she could also sign the form. While I walked with her into the room I told her that if she was confident enough to sign for my physical fitness it was totally fine with me. She looked at me, top to bottom and back up, then asked me where to sign.
I pointed the checkbox and where the physician’s name and hospital name were to go and where the stamp, and 3 minutes later and 50.000 IDR (about 4,25€) lighter I was right back on my way to the hotel for dinner with Kaisa.

Communication isn’t always difficult 😀