The people here don't hug. They hold hands. They rest their heads on another's lap as they sit and chat. They touch knees and squash into small spaces when required. But they don't hug.
Readers of Shantaram will know the type of hug that I mean.
So, after a really difficult morning, I was seeing a patient I met 2 weeks before. We share no language. She is in a lot of pain, for which I can't do much. She might have quite a serious disease and is justifiably worried. I didn't have any answers for her.
Instead of leaving, she hugged me. A proper, warm, close hug. A hug that was held for several seconds. A hug that was exactly what I needed. A hug that enveloped me and transferred so much energy and strength that I nearly cried for the second time that day.
Because the people here don't hug.