All protocol observed.
(All protocol meaning the morning routine, coffee ritual, morning meetings, ward rounds which was a great experience again, OR procedures, etc)
Uni.Prof.Dr. Holger Till
I lingered outside the hallway. I really wanted to speak with Dr Till but I wasn’t sure how to go about it. Do I go through his secretary? Was I supposed to book an appointment? Could I just walk into his office? I peeped through the door but the hallway was clear. I wasn’t even sure if he was in his office. I peeped occasionally till I saw him walking back to his office. He turned when he reached the threshold. “Any problem?” I froze for a brief second. Erm… Sir, I want to know if it’s ok to ask a question.
“You’re always welcome to ask a question at the right time.” I was being me with all the leg, hand and head movements that showed a bit of nervousness. When’s the right time? I asked. Making hand gestures, he said, “Ok, ok, ask. I have 2minutes minutes to my vacation”. We were far apart and he put his head forward like, “ehen”?
How was I supposed to speak from that distance? I purposely sighed heavily then he beckoned. Still standing at the threshold with his hands on the door frame, I stood right in front of him. I kind of clenched my teeth shook my head and said, Sir, breathing heavily again. He had this look (like, this girl!?) and invited me to his office.
“Alright. Ask.”
My request: I wanted a letter. I was going to tell him how hard I was willing to work and learn and all but he said, “Ok. Of course, you’d all get it”. In that moment, I clearly knew he misunderstood what I was asking for but I couldn’t go back.
“Do you like it here?” he asked.
With my hands clasped together and shaking my head sideways, I went, oh! no! I love it here. He explained that quite an amount of doctors were on vacation so it was unfortunate that we were around when most doctors were stressed out.
What???! If this is how nice stressed out doctors are eh!
He said he felt sorry that the morning/afternoon meetings were in German because that way,  we missed what was funny and what was educational. He said he could not force his staff to speak English. I told him it was very ok. (I mean, I reside in a non-English speaking country where fewer people spoke English compared to Graz). He said he understood how it felt to be in a place where the language which was spoken was one you did not understand. He briefly recounted non-German speaking countries he had worked/studied in.

“How long are you here for?” 2 more weeks I responded. “Ok then, my vacation begins today”.
My heart sank. What?! “I deserve one”, he said. I felt so sad but grateful that I was able to see him on this “last” day.
“You either come back here, or it’s goodbye.” He stretched his hand to me and I took it.

I really wanted a photo with him but I didn’t trust my phone.
I had my camera in the locker room because Lade and I were visiting the city centre after work.
To run out and get it or not?
I wasn’t sure.
…to be continued


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