Monday, June 22, 2009

The Roumanian Doctor

Back in (I believe) 2006, intrepid travelers Pat and Bob sailed majestically down the Danube to the Black Sea. While aboard, Bob became ill and the ship's doctor (our hero) put him in the infirmary and spent an anxious night with Pat standing guard over him. Bob was unaware, "I was walking six inches abouve the ground!" he chortled.

Pat, in feverish gratitude (which she has now regretted) thanked him over and over for "saving Bob" and invited him to come stay with them "any time you're in our area!" They remained in dsultory touch throught the next three years -- until they got his e-mail earlier this year. He was indeed going to be here and looked forward to staying with them!

Happily, the Brodsky's word is their bond and they welcomed him with open arms. Last night we were invited to come over and meet him.

Bogdan is a pleasant fellow, quick to laugh and easy in conversation. He has finished his residency and is looking to specialize as a General Practitioner. He is 32, of medium height with dark hair cut a la Napoleon, a rosy complexion and very blue eyes, behind little gold-framed glasses. His use of the English language is fairly fluent with a minor, kind of crisp, accent. "Grek Orto-docks" for "Greek Orthodox" (The national religion.)

Knowing I'd better swot up on Roumainia, I visited earlier in the day. I found that the country is divided into 41 "counties" and Bucharest, the capital, is its own "county" on the Black sea. Bogdan comes from the second largest city, Constanta, located in Dobrogea "county" on the Black Sea. He very thoughtfully gave us a little hard-backed book on it -- imagine a National Geographic 4 in. x 5 but an inch thick, crammed with color photos. The captions are in English and Roumanian and I joked that now I could learn to speak it!

I noted that many names there end in "escu" or "cu" and asked if that meant "son of" as Mac does in Gaelic. "No," was the response. "There is nothing like that in Roumanian names."

Bogdan said that he began learning English in the 6th grade when it is mandatory for students to specialize in another two languages -- French and English or Italian and English and so on. His 3rd language is French, "But I can't really make a good conversation in it," he confided.

He has worked as a ship's doctor for the past five years (while attending medical school) for four to six weeks a summer and can now select the trips he wants to work. I remarked that he's in a difficult place on board -- neither crew nor passenger and he admitted that this was so, but he and the purser hang out together. He's an only child, remarking jokingly that he thinks his parents were glad -- "One of me was enough!"

All in all, a very pleasant evening among very good company. Tomorrow he leaves for Las Vegas and I can only imagine what he'll have to tell the home folks about that. Bogdan is an open-natured sort and whatever goes on there, isn't going to stay in Vegas this time.

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