This morning, on a call to cancel my doctor’s appointment.

Lady: Hullo this is Dr Chuang’s answering service.

Me: Hi, can I leave a message please for Dr Chuang?

Lady: Your name please?

Me: Jennifer Tan (pronounced to sound like the ‘tan’ in ‘suntan’)

Lady: Phone number?

I give my home number.

Lady: And your message?

Me: I’m not able to make my 10am appointment?

Lady: You wish to cancel it? Okay. Now was your last name Pan with a P, as in Peter Pan?

Me: No, as in Thailand.


Me: As in Taiwan?

The phone crackles.

Me: As in Tennessee?

Lady: Okay Tee Ay Ann Tan?

Me: Yup.


I should’ve just said ‘suntan’.