Thursday, December 25, 2014
The… uh, celebrity-type person. Not the drink. That would be weird.
My dad works in Taiwan because 17 years ago, he got offered a prestigious position as a doctor/professor at one of the universities here. At that time, he had been a doctor at UC Irvine, and it was a tough decision to move back to Taiwan after having established himself already in the United States.
Still, it’s amazing what he’s done over the past 17 years. Every time my mom, sister, or I come to visit, we’re treated like royalty. People show us around, take us to dinner, drive us to places we want to visit…. Yeah, I’m not gonna lie, it’s… kinda… cool. Last time, I made a passing comment about wanting to check out a nice bar in Taichung. One of my dad’s colleagues made a phone call, and a few hours later, a group of residents my age (as in the medical term “resident”… not some classist xenophobic reference) took me out to one of the fanciest bars in town, at the top of one of the fanciest hotels in town.
Okay, I guess my usage of the word “fanciest” is redundant. You’re probably not going to find a dive bar at the top of the fanciest hotel in town….
Now, granted, doctors in Taiwan are apparently treated with some serious status. So, there’s that. It’s not just because it’s my dad. Still, it’s kinda cool when we go out to dinner in some random restaurant, and my dad’s colleague goes up to the owner and says, this is “Dr. Hong,” and we invariably get a dish or dessert or drink on the house.
It hasn’t been different this time around….
When we rolled up to the hospital, there was already an entourage of five doctors, all in their white coats, waiting on the street for us. They directed us to the entrance, opened the car door for us, then escorted us up to the intensive care unit. Visiting hours hadn’t started, but… you know, we’re Dr. Hong’s family. We were let right in.
And that’s where we finally saw him….
Apparently, there’s been a steady stream of visitors coming to see him over the past few days. It’s died down a bit now that we’re here, but I’m not exaggerating, he really is like a celebrity in his field. Plus, he’s also a bit of a social butterfly and loves to go out and eat and drink and be merry with people. I think that helps his celebrity-but-still-down-to-earth status. People love him here.
I think he would be happy to see how many supporters he has right now.