Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Misadventures Begin

Today is Sunday.  After church, Tom, me, Ma Mu and Sarah (a friend of Konrad's from church) went out for lunch.  The restaurant we went to this time specialises in steamed fish and Tom was eager to try his favourite--grouper (which the travel guide says to avoid because of some health issue I don't remember but I guess we're ignoring that advice--I already have so many dietary restrictions that I don't want to make more trouble than needed).

Each restaurant we've gone to is unique and so, after we'd settled at the table, I went exploring with my camera.  An old server (I'm 60 and still working, he boasted--60 isn't old for us but he did look old) liked my picture taking and kept pointing to things I could photograph.  One place seemed out of bounds but when I saw other customers headed in that direction I decided to go too.  It was another sitting area but you have to understand the culture here.

The gutter and sort-of-wall beside it.  I think the place I slipped was just past those blue handles.
A restaurant is not necessarily in a building with four walls and a roof.  This one sort of had three walls but that area was just a small portion of the whole.  Tables spilled out from that area to the curb, with a large corrugated metal roof stretched over it all.  The "kitchen" was in this open area and what I did was slip between the kitchen and the walled area to behind the kitchen.  A sort of wall was there and at the bottom of the wall was a cement gutter.  There are everywhere--a sort of open-air storm sewer system--and quite deep.  I was taking pictures of the things that were different and followed the edge of the gutter to a Chinese shrine that looked picture-worthy.

The object of my photo-taking when I fell
I had to keep getting closer because of the lighting and my iPhone doesn't do well with zooming in on things far away.  As I walked with the gutter to my immediate left, and the sort-of-wall immediately on the other side, I slipped and and started to fall.  Hoping to catch myself, I grabbed the top of the sort-of-wall to discover that it was just very thin metal against a grating and instead of keeping me from falling, the metal tore away from the grating with a horrible sound and I landed on my knee--my bad knee.  Ouch!  There were gasps from those who saw it happen and one waiter rushed to see if I was okay.  I waved him away because of course I was okay!

But when I got back to the table, I realised I had gashed my knee.  I came to Malaysia prepared for as many  eventualities as possible and have been carrying tiny containers of all sorts of things in my purse.  One happens to be hand sanitizer and so I got this out to clean the wound.

Understand that many of the restaurants we're eating in, if in Canada, would be closed down for all sorts of hygienic and food-safety reasons, and this was one of the worst (and biggest).  For example, while eating, one spits the fish bones onto the table.  When the customers before us left, the busboy used a pair of chopsticks, long side against the table, to gather all the debris together and then push it into a container.  Then he used a dirty cloth to clean the table, missing many spots.  The tables were pristine compared to everything else, including where I fell (which was, after all, just the gutter).

So cleaning this wound was important.  Once I'd cleaned off all the mud and the sanitizer actually reached the wound, Yikes!  Did that sting! Then it began to swell, and bruise.  By the time we were ready to leave the restaurant (the food was delicious), I knew that I couldn't go enjoy the places we intended to go and asked to come home.

After a bit of icing just after we got home.
We got home, I collapsed on the couch, took off my braces, and proceeded to cry while Konrad lovingly hugged and consoled me.  When I was done, I took a closer look at the damage.  It's like I've got a second knee, just below and a bit overlapping the first one.  I iced it until the ice melted and now I'm just resting.  It's not too bad while I sit with my legs stretched out on the bed, but Konrad and Bena have their CD launch concert tonight so I need to go out.  Bena's found me a cane to use and already it's helped.  I'm not sure if I'll be able to put my brace back on that knee so hopefully the cane will be sufficient.  

Tomorrow morning, at 5:30, we'll be on the train, pulling out of JB sentral station, headed to Taman Negara--the best national park in the country, in the middle of the jungle.  Part of our intention is to take the 40-minute walk through the canopy of the jungle so please pray that my knee will allow me to do so.  I've been looking forward to this.




Here is a link to the first batch of annotated photos.
For those unfamiliar with Facebook photo albums, click on the first photo to see it enlarged and read the description.  Then use the arrow buttons to navigate through the rest. If you want to see them but can't, send me an e-mail at debbiehaughland@gmail.com

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