My months as a hatstandBMJ 2001; 322 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.322.7298.1373 (Published 02 June 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:1373
- Andrew Collinson, specialist registrar in paediatrics
In our encounters with strangers we follow protocols that are rooted in our cultural identity. These codes characterise countless fragments of our daily lives, which although mundane are no less dear to us. Living in Gambia I have once or twice astonished myself with a feeling of nostalgia for the blank anonymity of the London underground, where a lone commuter can almost be the only passenger in a carriage which is in fact crowded with others. The same void of interaction must encapsulate, to Gambians in Britain, all that separates them from the poetic greeting that accompanies every encounter between strangers back home.
If the problem is not permanent it is not tragic; if not tragic then it is okay to ask
Some months ago a less than dramatic surfing accident left me with an odontoid fracture and an abrupt suspension of my life as a research paediatrician in the Gambia. In Bristol five days later, wearing a halothoracic brace and …