An Irish man goes to a doctor…

In the past, if you were to ask anybody from Ireland what a Brazilian looks like, as a guy, you would have imagined the rather tasty looking ladies that take part in Carnival, as a girl, you may have thought of the footballers like Pele or Ronaldinho. So, dark skin, dark hair, dark eyes, dark everything basically. Things have changed in Ireland, and Dublin folk might have observed the little Brazilian invasion that has been taking place in the last few years. So you’ll have noticed that very few of them fit that same dark image, and that some of them could nearly pass off as being Irish!. Have you seen top Brazilian model Cintia Dicker?, she could be from Dublin’s North side! – well,  maybe not from the North side, but she could definitively be a Southsider!.

So living in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, is like being in an ad for Benetton, or being in a really big bag of liquorice allsorts. Thus being an Irishman, until I open my gob, I kind of fit in, and just as Cintia could be from Tallaght, I could be from Bom Despacho in the interior of Minas Gerais. Now, if you were to ask my wife, she would call me brancinho, ‘whitey’, just because she’s the colour of a Brigadeiro (a very delicious but dangerous little Brazilian chocolate). Personally speaking I always felt I was more a honey type or even better, a Cafe con leite colouring about me (coffee with milk) . Feckin cheek of her. But anyway, to be honest, I never really thought about ethnic diversity or such things, not until I went on my first visit to a Brazilian Doctor!

Now I had already had some experience with the medical profession here in Brazil (read Dentist text), so I really wasn’t nervous about going.  I had started to get headaches, which in the end was due to a heavy workload, too much Brazilian coffee, not using protector on the cheese bread like-thing attached to my neck, AND frowning way too much (read “Something about Belo” blog entry). I made an appointment, and the following week I headed off.

Now in Ireland you are not covered by medical insurance, therefore it’s expensive, so you avoid going, and thus only go when you are nearing death, your wife and kids and even the dog have left you due to the smell and your constant whining, and the only person who’ll look after you is the old lady from next door who has nothing better to do. You eventually give in and go to the doctor when the lesions on our ass have become so big, that you are fearful you may not fit out the door. There is also the fact that Irish men are very very stubborn, our classic line “Don’t be worrying, sure it’ll be grand like” is our remedy.

My wife had recommended this doctor, he’s a really nice guy, but he really should retire, he can barely walk,  bless him. On leaving the elevator and entering the office,  a woman walked in front of me, she was extremely pale and very elderly. I felt for her, she looked very frail. I opened the door for her and I walked in behind her. She shuffled her way in, and I just kept her pace behind her. We both approached the secretary, the women sat down next to the desk. I informed the secretary that I had an appointment. She told me to sit down and wait. There was nobody else in the waiting room, so I assumed I was next. I sat at the back of the small office and took out my book, I might be next, but you should always be armed with good reading material when visiting medical people, and god bless him, my doctor was so old that he was probably having a morning nap.

The secretary turned and asked the elderly lady for her details. Considering I was next, I thought this was kind of strange, but in Brazil, the elderly have priority. I was impressed when I went to the supermarkets and the banks here and found that there were cash-points strictly for the elderly. The same courtesy goes for driving, if one day you’re walking on the path and suddenly Grandma in her little Mille fire happens to jump the path and run you over! – it’s not her fault!.  So I of course, I was going to follow protocol. And I really think that Irish people are very courteous, we are constantly saying “sorry” when it’s not even our fault, so here in Brazil, I’m like Mother Theresa!.

Ten minutes later, the door opened and the doctor appeared – only the doctor. Now unless Spiderman had an appointment and had gone straight to work i.e. out the window, my assumption about the nap-taking was right. The old lady went in.

While I sat there waiting it occurred to me that the receptionist hadn’t taken any of my details. So I asked her about this, she smiled and said it wasn’t necessary. I continued reading. Then I remembered the woman had given her details, I questioned her about this.

“No, it’s ok, I already got the details from your mother”.

“What – my mother?, she’s not my mother. Why would you think that?”

“Oh god, I’m  so sorry!. I naturally assumed you were her son, she’s just like you –  so pale looking!”

For fecks sake,  not her as well,  ‘Cafe com leite people,  CAFE COM BLOODY LEITE!!’

5 Responses to “An Irish man goes to a doctor…”
  1. chymera says:

    haha, deadly stuff keith…

  2. Clarissa says:

    hehe, you should see me in Europe, nobody would ever say I´m brazilian…

  3. Fabricio says:

    Hi Keith!
    You’re very funny and I enjoy with what you have writen. I’m in Dublin now and I really like to know what’s the difference between a Dublin Southsider and a Northside kind.

    • Thanks Fabricio for the comments.
      To be honest, the only difference with regard to the City Centre, is the South side of the city is more attractive, but as you go further out, you will see that both the North Side and South Side are one in the same.


  4. James M says:

    Good stuff mate….I stumbled upon it when looking for the ins and outs of minas to shoot. i’m in sp and barely anyone has a bead on bh or op. thanks for puttin’ some colour to the page. all us gringos have the same reactions and experiences. very funny to read.

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