“My husband… not good…”
“Tell me what’s happening.”
“….chest…. Not good.”
The desk clerk helped by repeating my words in a loud voice.
“She doesn’t speak much English,” he pointed out.
She wasn’t Hispanic, so there was no hotel employee to interpret. If she had travel insurance, someone at the agency office would help, but it was hopeless to ask about it.
“Would you like me to come to the hotel?”
“WOULD YOU LIKE THE DOCTOR TO COME TO THE HOTEL!!”
She would. I then listened as the clerk informed everyone within shouting distance of my fee.
The scene in the room resembled absurdist theater. One guest made funny noises (?coughing). Another tapped various parts of the patient’s body. A third read from an English phrase-book (…“can you prescribe an appropriate medication…?”)
Everyone listened intently when I asked a question and then exchanged glances to see if anyone understood. Finally, all nodded agreement.
I’m exaggerating. Guests have simple problems, and there’s usually enough comprehension to get along. So far everything has worked out.