I WAS RUNNING LATE; and feeling a little irritable. Arriving back to Hong Kong from a business trip only the previous evening, I'd been deluged with emails and a series of fairly minor, yet time consuming, problems to resolve.
Now the female receptionist on the fifteenth floor was telling me to go down to the thirteenth floor for my appointment. "There's no fourteenth floor so you can walk down the stairs, it's only one flight," she explained, helpfully. As I, momentarily, hesitated to move, the woman raised her eyebrows and looked at me quizzically, "Oh, er… we think numbers with a 'four' in are unlucky in Chinese, so there's no fourteen," she added, telling me something I already knew.
My shoulder hurt -- as it had been doing for nearly two months. Pain every time I turned to put on or take off my jacket; or to stretch to reach for something or even, and that's what had prompted me to finally go to see the physiotherapist, it hurt when I shook hands with my clients.
I knew it was a recurrence of an old tendon problem, inflammation or tear I wasn't sure; quite an isolated spot of severe pain, but severe in the extreme. I also knew that problems with shoulders are one of the most difficult to diagnose or to cure, and such problems can linger for months, disturbing sleep and other activities alike.
"Ow, jeez, ow!" I gasped, as I pushed open the fire doors at the bottom of the stairs and pain shot through my upper arm into my shoulder joint. Grasping the offending area with my left hand, I trotted into the 'correct' reception area and into the small waiting room, which was almost full of people also, presumably, waiting for their appointments.
Two, young, female receptionists were chatting idly to each other as one of them filled in registration forms for another patient. Although the one doing the writing smiled at me briefly, she carried on with her task and it was almost thirty seconds later when she deigned to speak to me. "What's your name?"
We gamefully managed to have a conversation in broken English, interspersed with my limited Chinese -- with me finally understanding that I had to fill in two sets of forms then sit down and wait for the physiotherapist; and she looking relieved that this 'foreigner' was not going to ask her anything too far out of the ordinary that would, apparently, be beyond her English comprehension. Her parting shot was simply a wave of her arm and a command of "Sit there!"
Oh, I do hope this is not going to be a long wait, I thought as I found a free chair and sat down and joined the other waiting patients. I really need to try and get back to work before lunch time. But, oh, deary me, my shoulder hurts today.
It was another twenty minutes before I finally was ushered in to see the physiotherapist, a slightly rotund, balding man in his early thirties. I'd spent my time thinking about some of the problems I still had to solve at work, gazing around at the mundane notices and signs on the wall of the reception area -- and, from the corners of my eyes, watching what I guessed was the younger of the two receptionists as she flitted from behind her counter, talked with patients, went into the treatment room area and came back out again.
Hmm, she's really quite cute, I'd mused, as she'd pranced in front of, then past me, for the third or fourth time. Seems to have rather a good figure under that powder blue, trouser suit uniform she's wearing. She certainly looks to have a good bust, and a nice ass too. Mmm, love the way she's wearing her hair; that straight fringe, and the sides of her hair slipping easily down towards her shoulders; her big, brown eyes and prominent lips giving her sort of a cherubic look.
Like many young Chinese girls of her generation she'd dyed her hair to a soft henna colour and was wearing the 'uniform' of at least two ear piercings in each ear; with minimal make-up, just a touch of blusher really, and a smear of lip gloss to enhance her already prominent mouth. As she'd wandered around undertaking her duties, she'd exuded that sort of innocence, that sort of freshness -- although some might say naivety -- that youngish women of her age who don't know that they are provocatively sexy emit.