Saturday, 11 April 2009

Hubris & Nemesis

Hospital food. I shouldn't have bragged. The clinic has a new cook. Cuisiner (cook) in French. A chef is the boss. Chef de cuisine is the boss cook. O.K., probably a new chef de cuisine. Actually, probably an outside service. I am avoiding the issue. The food was terrible!

Good news. I didn't get to eat for 4 days.

Bad news. I didn't get to eat for 4 days.

The doctor kept asking if I'd burped. I kept saying "No." After four days I realised he meant gas at either end. (Last August, I remembered, he'd asked me if I'd farted. Someone must have told him the English find the word offensive.) They were waiting for a gas eruption before feeding me. So I lived on broth until I had sense enough to tell him I'd passed gas.

Then I got a little more to eat. A "cheese" course. A slice of packaged cheese so rubbery that you could bend it in two without its breaking. Tasted like a pencil eraser.

Eventually, the dietician came around and asked if I'd had a bowel movement (Vous avez fait des selles?). Even my pronunciation of "Oui" must arouse doubts about my understanding because she repeated it in baby talk (Vous avez fait kaka?). Like I understand baby talk better. The answer was still, "Oui."

So I got dessert, my first fruit. Compote. It's sort of an apple sauce, sometimes flavoured with other fruit, which only makes it worse. It comes in a little container like a one-person jelly tin. It's awful and I didn't eat it. However, if they'd wanted me to make kaka, why had I not had a vegetable since I'd entered the hospital?

The last night I got my tray and, under the plate cover, was green! "Vegetables? For me?" I asked. The serveuse had no sense of humour. I was desperate; I ate half: overcooked, watery, unseasoned courgettes (zucchini). Yuck.

The good news: I lost 2 kilos, but that includes the fat and tumours lifted from my stomach, an event no more gross than the meals I was eating. Or not.


  1. I am so happy to read you complaining about the food.

    No kaka, I mean that honestly.

    Also, thanks for a rare glimpse of the elusive native French 'k.'

    Embrassades d'Allemagne!

  2. They aren't much better here:-)..all they had to offer me after impacted wisdom teeth surgery which turned out to be more complicated than they had expected so I came back very late to the ward 6ish, was toast..ouch! and some very salty instant soup came straight back again..but via my nose as mouth and face too swollen LOL
    I was told off for being a naughty girl for bringing it up..but I wasn't asked if I wanted to Kaka!..heavens xx

    I'm assuming the diet is much improved at home..hope you are getting great weather we have here..cold wind but in sheltered spot very warm:-)
    Confession I bought a coffee and walnut cake to have with friends and it was soo yummy, with real cofee kick not sickly sweet..I ate it solo..she hangs her head but continues to lick her lips
    Jane x

  3. the food while I was in the hospital was awful too. Of course, post surgically, my mouth was complete cotton. So, after offering me clear liquids, my first solid food was a waffle. When you try to eat a waffle with a cotton mouth, it is like eating sand. Gag. gag. gag. cough. gag. I think I blocked food from my mind for the rest of the day. I did have my daughter bring me a wonderful fruit smoothie of blueberries, strawberries and banana. Now that was refreshing. The food is much better here at home. I am glad you are home too. No doubt Nick is taking great care of you.