Sunday, February 19, 2017

A Japanese Guest

A check of Google Maps revealed an ominous red line from my on-ramp to downtown, so I left twenty minutes early for what is usually a half hour drive. It wasn’t enough, and I arrived ten minutes late at the Miyako in Los Angeles’s Little Tokyo.

It caters to Japanese, a big advantage when I see Japanese patients. Japanese businessmen sometimes speak English but Japanese tourists don’t, and these were tourists. I asked the desk clerk if she could provide an interpreter. Even in a Japanese-run hotel, most workers are Hispanic, and it may take half an hour to pry loose an employee, often a Japanese-American who speaks Japanese as well as I speak Hungarian, the language of my grandparents.

Luckily, as I waited, the tour leader appeared. His English was rudimentary but adequate. The guest had a fever but the major complaint was indigestion from strange American food.

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