Thursday, June 30, 2005

lao lao

Luang Prabang is meant to be a gorgeous town, and it does seem to be from what I have seen of it, which is only one street. I unfortunately got food poisoning (second time ever, which isn't so bad) and so was ill all of yesterday. Totally recovered now though, and about to hit up the town.

To get to Luang Prabang, I took the 2 day slow boat from the Thai border. I read somewhere that the people you meet on the slowboat are the people you travel through all of Asia with, and I can see why. I met the most amazing family of Americans who are just the sweetest ever, including their nine and eleven year old kids, a Texan accountant who does improv (Elena), a cool Dutch girl (Jolen), and Ori, from Israel, who is just plain amazing. (I have a big crush on Ori). Despite the fact that we were stuck on a boat together for two days, the craic has not stopped flowing, and we are still hanging out on a very regular basis. Fantastic. I could not be a happier traveller at the moment. Well, one thing would make it slightly better, and that would be if I actually went and explored the town, which I'm about to do. And of course, there will be much Beer Lao drunk tonight. Reputedly the best beer is Asia, and it lives up to its reputation.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

finally getting out of Thailand

Yep, a whole new country beckons. I am getting a minibus (yes, I swore I would never do tourist travel again, but after having spent what felt like most of my life, but really was 8hrs, waiting for trains in Bangkok train station, I am just going to pay extra and get the hell out of here) to Chiang Khong in an hour, and from there I am crossing into Laos, and getting the slowboat to Luang Prabang. I am excited by this development. Laos sounds very cool indeed, although I am only going a couple of places there - Luang Prabang, Vientiane, Viang Vehn, and the Plain of Jars. And yes, I probably horlixed up the spellings of most of those places, and "real" travellers will be disgusted.

Serendipity strikes just whenever I need it most. I was pretty grumpy and down on my last day in Haad Rin - I was wishing that I had already left the island, I wasn't travelling with anyone, and was generally cursing at the whole travel thing. This is actually the first time I have had the travel blues, but I knew that they had to strike sometime. It wasn't even sunny, so I couldn't work on my tan, and there was nothing that I felt like doing. Anyway, on this day of grumps, my darling little mobile rings, and its Casey, who wants to travel to Laos with me. Talk about perfect timing. So we agree to meet, and to travel up together. Now, the glories of fate can't smile too kindly on me, because she then proceeded to get food poisoning and miss our train, but we're going to meet in Laos in the next couple of days. Wunderbar.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

all partied out

Yes, I most certainly am, and the rest of Haad Rin seems to feel the same. Its overcast and cool today, not a day for working on your tan. I am feeling most definitely ready to move on, and really that I should today, but my train ticket isn't until tomorrow, so I'm just kicking my heels around here. That's okay though, I can certainly handle a few days on my own doing some reading, writing in my journal, just being calm. The last few days have not been like that at all, due to certain events like Full Moon Parties.

I went to the Full Moon last month, and this one was just as fun, if not more so. I achieved my aim of jumping through the ring of fire, which was fun. I also managed to stay up until the sunrise, which was fantastic. The trick? Not to drink too much. I was having enough fun anyway, and had gotten drunk the night before on the beach. How come I was having problems staying up later than 11 in Chiang Mai and Pai, and then here, staying up til 4.30am and then 8am the next day poses no problem whatsoever. Interesting.

I was down here with Steph and Emma, two i-to-i volunteers, and then we also met two different volunteers, Clare and Rob, which was a lot of fun. The Californian kids were also here, but I didn't see them so much. Haad Rin gets pretty crowded around Full Moon time, and thousands of people converge here to have a mother of a party. There was the usual wandering and losing people, and I also met people who knew people I knew, in that weird, small world kind of way. If anyone is speaking to Johnny Moore (I don't have his email address), ask him if he knows a Conor from Calgary who worked at Camp Montana. Strange.

Partying isn't the only thing I have done whilst here. I took a muay thai (Thai boxing) class, which was hilarious, if a total workout. I was dripping sweat onto the mat the whole time. It was me and another English girl who were learning to beat the crap out of each other, and the sport is damn hard. It required a level of coordination that I am quite simply lacking. Same in aerobics. The whole class goes left, and I go right. I learnt how to do funky spinning kicks though, and how effectively and repetitively kick a guy where it hurts. Tres useful I'm sure. My punching isn't so good though, and my instructor was very clean in telling me I would dead every time I punched, because I let my guard down. Somehow, I don't think its the sport for me.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

on the road again...

One of the best things about travelling alone is that you can up sticks and go wherever you. For instance, if you are feeling a little bored of the mountains and jungle, as beautiful as they are, then sure you can get on the bus down to the islands for a Full Moon Party instead.

This wasn't a decision that I made purely by myself. Chance had a strong hand in it. Fair enough, I did wake up yesterday morning and think, "man, I could go to the Full Moon Party", but didn't really think too much about it. Then, I missed the bus to Mae Hong Son by two minutes, and was going to have to wait a couple of hours until the next one. The next bus which came was a bus for Chiang Mai, and just before it was pulling out, I got a call from Emma saying about the party, and bam! That was that. I was on the bus in a matter of seconds, and in Bangkok by 5am this morning. In 24hrs, I will be on a beach in tropical paradise (again). Sweet.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

all by myself

Before I left, I thought that travelling as a single gal would be viewed as some sort of weird handicap - like why couldn't I find anyone to come with me? I could not have been further from the truth. Instead, most people seem filled with admiration that I have actually had the get-up-and-go to just go by myself. That has certainly been a pleasant surprise. Meeting people has been no problem whatsoever. Sure, the Californian guys just left town, but tonight I am meeting Celine, a French girl, in some bar to watch movies and hang out. The best places to make new friends? At bus stations, train stations, airports - places of transit. Hanging out in guesthouses is also a good one, but not quite as high a success rate. Furthermore, if you meet people on a bus, you can always escape from them. Not so much with the whole guesthouse thing. Yes, there are plenty of people you meet that you don't want to hang out with either!

I have taken to using the Thai "powder' for keeping me cool. It doesn't seem to have another name beyond powder, and it comes in a cool, old-school tin. I don't know how it works, apart from it kind of heats my body up, in a weird, tiger balm esque way, but this for some reason stops me from getting hot and sticky. Backwards I know, but it works.

the sleepiest little town in the world

Pai certainly deserves that title. I have been here for a couple of days, and managed to accomplish nothing. A very pleasant nothing, I might add. Pai is well known for being a sleepy backpacker's place, rather than a party backpacker's place, and the emphasis is on doing nothing. I have been to three different trekking outlets today, and in each one, the proprietor has been fast asleep. What they are tired from I do not know. Still, nothing like a nice afternoon nap, is there?

The boys whom I was traveling with, Will and Gaylin, have gone home. We waited a couple of hours for their bus, I eventually wandered off, and then when I came back, the bus had pulled up. It was fun travelling with them for a while. Company is always cool, particularly in the form of laid back kids from California.

The point of coming to Pai is to do some trekking, but this is causing some problems. It is not exactly high tourist season here, and so there aren't too many treks happening. I have to go back to each of the companies at around 6pm tonight to see whether they have managed to drum up enough customers. Bit of a pain. If I don't get to trek tomorrow, then I will head off to Mae Hong Son, another mountain village, and check that out. I also applied for my visa to Laos today, so I'll be able to head off there soon. Very exciting to say the least.

Monday, June 13, 2005

chiang mai

Chiang Mai is Thailand's second city, and it up in the North. To get from Kanchanaburi to here, I had to go back to Bangkok. I engaged a partner in crime for this - a Canadian guy named Tom who had just come from India. Nice enough, but going through the idealist stage that 19 year olds do, which I have sadly left behind. Yes, I know that Nike are a big bad multinational corporation who keep children locked up inside cages for 23 hours a day, but I still like their shoes, okay? No, he wasn't that bad, but I was happy enough to leave him upon arrival in Chiang Mai. Whilst I was in Bangkok for a couple of hours, I did those endless tasks that I seem to have to accomplish whilst I am there - booking flights for Kate and I, buying some more medical supplies, boring stuff like that. I also met some volunteers randomly, as you do, and even more randomly, a guy who I went to school with over five years ago. Stranger and stranger, but all very good.

I had not been looking forward to the night train to Chiang Mai. In a fit of feeling broke, we opted for the sleeper with no air-con, and I spent a long time imagining that I was going to be sweating all night. Actually, it was a fantastic experience, just making me love trains even more. My bed was comfortable, I had a huge window that I could open, and a nice little curtain that gave me privacy. I spent the night reading, listening to Graceland, and getting excited by watching the world not quite speed by (Thai trains only go about 40miles an hour). I also slept like a baby for a good 6hrs. A great way to travel, and to be recommended to anyone.

Dumping Tom in Chiang Mai was made easy enough by meeting two Californian brothers, who I have been hanging out with since then. Pretty cool guys, and makes a change from defending my meat eating beliefs. Last night we ate faux mexican food (sometimes you need a break from Thai food, nice though it is. And besides, at home, its not like people eat Irish food all day every day. So its okay to change the scene once in a while) and went to the Night Market. Chiang Mai's night market is absolutely huge. You could walk for days around it and still not see everything. My personal highlights were some puppies we found - playing with them was obviously therapy to get over my fear of dogs. Actually, I don't really have a fear of dogs, but puppies are fun. There was tons of hill tribes goods - gorgeous clothes, and beautiful ornaments to take home. Definitely to be recommened for the shopper in all of us. But no, I came away empty handed, thank goodness. My backpack certainly does not need anymore things inside it.

Today I made another trip to the hospital. Yet again I was registered as a full blown patient with my own hospital card. I actually managed to forget my passport, but once I made up a passport number, they seemed happy enough to take me on. I was able to give them my correct blood group, so I'm sure that makes up for it. Every time I go to the hospital they weigh me, and so in the last 2 weeks, I have been weighed more times than I have in the last 10 years of my life. Each time its the same - a solid 62kg. I think that's pretty normal, but I'm showing no signs of the mass weight loss that most people get whilst travelling in Asia. Not fair.

Walking to the hospital was a good, "real Chiang Mai" experience. I love walking through a city because you see much more than just getting a taxi, and this was no different, particularly since the Lonely Planet map had left out half the streets (as usual) so I ended up wandering some back streets through people's laundry etc, which is always fun. After the hospital it was more wandering hoping to happen upon some wats, which I did, and were fascinating. For being such religious places, I rarely see Thai people paying their respects to Buddha, but then again, I suppose wandering into a British church doesn't necessarily bring about masses of people praying. Thai buddhism, I am also learning, is much more centred on Karma, and doing good to bring about good, rather than the path to self-enlightenment, and so that may have something to do with it. And that's my Buddhist fact of the day

Friday, June 10, 2005

lazy laziness

Today, I have managed to achieve nothing. This is a certain possibility whilst travelling, although whilst in Belfast I was certainly also able to have days of nothingness. Well, I have done some things, but my calorific burn has remained low, to say the least. So, how was my day wasted? I wandered out for breakfast - the traditional traveller meal of banana pancakes, and my first ever one. It was rather yummy, and I can see why the trend caught on. Then it was a pause for a banana shake whilst I wrote up my journal and wrote some postcards. Then I lay in a hammock for a while and finished my book. Instead of having lunch, I walked up to the cemetary and got some durien from a fruit stand. Durien is a Thai fruit that is brown and spiky on the outside, and about the size of a pineapple. It tastes like custard avocado, and is just as fattening. It also smells disgusting after a couple of hours, so must be eaten right after it is peeled. It is banned in most hotels, but I snuck mine into the garden, along with some green mango with extremely chillied sugar. I started a new book as well, and wrote a friend a letter. And that brings me to now. So no, not much happened at all, but it was a perfectly blissful day indeed. Tomorrow is going to be work, so it pays to take a day off every now and then.

Guidebooks are every traveller's best friend. I am currently using two - Footprint guide to Thailand, and the Lonely Planet's South East Asia on a Shoestring. Now, normally I loathe Lonely Planet and love Footprint, but Footprint keeps letting me down, not least today when I was looking at confusion at its map of Kanchanaburi, and realised that it had been drawn wrong. It doesn't inspire faith, does it?

war heroes of all kinds

I have been having a lovely couple of days in Kanchanaburi - the town with the infamous "Bridge over the River Kwai". During WWII, British, Dutch, Australian, and American POWs, along with over 100,000 Asians, were conscripted by the Japanese to create a railway between Thailand and Burma for transporting supplies. Thousands and thousands died under the hands of the Japanese, and Kanchanaburi is the sight of two cemetaries for the POWs, the bridge itself, and a base for visiting Hellfire Pass and riding the Death Railway, all of which I did yesterday.

Hellfire Pass was so called because of the light of the torches and burning dynamite used to blast the rock to create a gorge for the railway to pass through. To visit the sight is eerie and strange. It is no longer an active railway (the Thais dismantled it, not out of respect for those who perished building it, or as a symbol of the end of the way, but because it wasn't economically viable to run a line to Burma, and because they wanted to keep the Burmese out), but the original woodent tracks are there for you to walk along as you go through the pass. It is maybe 10 metres high and 3 metres wide, and about 30 to 50 metres long, and this was simply blasted by men who were starved to death, working skeletons. The pictures and museum were pretty harrowing. A worthwhile trip for anyone interested in WW2 history, especially since the Allied effort in Asia isn't as widely recognised and known about as the European experience.

During the Siam period of Thailand, elephants were used in battle. Well, I'm imagining those battles were pretty slow, with lots of pauses whilst the elephants stopped to tear down some shrubbery, or decided they couldn't be bothered to move. After the trip to Hellfire Pass, we went elephant trekking, which, to be honest, the ethical traveller inside me couldn't decided whether this was morally wrong of me. The trekking was at a Karen village. The Karen are one of the many hilltribes in Thailand, and their village looked pretty poor and washed out. It certainly wasn't a tourist hotspot, despite the enticement of riding an elephant. The elephants themselves were chained by one leg to a pretty pathetic stump of a tree, so if they had wanted to make an escape, they could have surely run for it. Although I'm not sure if these elephants had a gear for running - they were the slowest moving beasts I have ever come across. Even with my limp, I walk faster than them. I know that speediness is not one if their strong points, but these were war animals! I had read all these interesting things in Ayutthaya about the corralling of the elephants being the most exciting event of the year. I'm beginning to doubt that now.

The seat on the elephant was made of bamboo, and was neither comfortable, nor particularly safe. I spent large quantities of my ride hanging on so that I wouldn't fall on the elephant's head (going downhill) or off its ass (going uphill). My guide also had the bright red mouth of a man high from chewing some sort of natural drug in these parts. I can't remember the name, but it is like a naturally occuring form of speed. That would explain his incoherent muttering the entire time. Like I said, elephants are slow moving, and they also sort of lollop along - not a smooth ride. And most of the time is spent not going anywhere as the elephant spies another bit of greenery to tear down and munch. An interesting experience, but not one I am dying to repeat.

Something I did love however, was bamboo rafting. This is not a high octane experience, but incredibly relaxing and fun. The rafts are made of huge sticks of bamboo, and are about 2 to 3 metres long, and about a metre wide. They are held together with string, and steered by a guy standing with a big bamboo stick - a bit like a gondola. We travelled downstream through the pouring rain, which added to the whole jungle experience. Incredibly fun.

The last stop on our trip was the train ride home along the Death Railway. Part of the railway that was built during the Second World War is still in use, although the original tracks and bridges have been relaid. The train was most definitely the third class option, with wide, wooden seats. Nothing wrong with that, and it was clean, and therefore perfectly acceptable. It was packed with hordes of school kids getting home, and so there were no seats available. I have a theory that if you are allowed to something, then it is probably safe. I am aware that I really ought to revise this theory whist travelling in Asia, but before I did, I had one of the best train rides ever, because I was able to spend a good part of it hanging out of the side of the train, holding onto two bars, like they do in old movies. It was particularly fun looking down whilst going over high bridges. A great experience, and no mum, I won't do it again.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

first the train, then the bus

Today I have moved on again, this time to Kanchanaburi. It was all rather exciting - I had to take yet more public transport. You know, as a sidebar, it would be possible to see almost everything (everything being most major towns and tourist attractions) without ever braving public services. There is a travel agent on every corner armed with a minibus and endless choices of where they can take you. Anyways, back to my buses. Yes, so I had heard on the grapevine that I needed to get a bus to Suphan Buri, and then from there change and get the 411 to Kanchanaburi. I am always a little dubious about bus travel, but it was the only option, so I thought I would give it a go. I wandered up to the bus area (station is too strong a word) in Ayutthaya, saw a big yellow bus with Suphan written on it, and jumped aboard. All well and good. Then from there, once I got off at Suphan Buri, all the bus staff saw that I was farang, and obviously wanted to go to Kanchanaburi instead. So this dude grabs me and my bag (one in each hand) and hauls me across a patch of grass and throws me on a bus. Little did I know that he was actually the bus conductor (he had no uniform), and not a random guy with a penchant for dragging people around. And so this is how I made it to Kanachaburi and its infamous River Kwai in three hours, a whole hour less than every one told me. Nifty. I like buses.

For all my love of public transport, I think I am going to take up one of these travel companies offers, and hop aboard for a whirlwind tour of all Kanchaburi has to offer. Lucky me.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

photo spot

colorful flowers
Originally uploaded by scarlettholly.
I mentioned a few days ago that I had a blast at the flower market. This is one of the many photos I took, and I just love it for two reasons. One, the bright colours, which have come up really well, and secondly, the fact that you can see the dye on the flowers. Gotta love a bit of fakeness. Anyway, this is a nice bright picture. I did consider blogging the gory ones of my open wounds instead, but thought that would be on bad taste. They are on flickr though, and you can click through on the photo if you do want to check out my injuries.

what's a wat?

I have made it out of Bangkok, thank goodness. I am in the ancient city and former capital, Ayutthaya. Ayutthaya was plundered by Burma, and all of its wats (temples( were destroyed. Now, it is a mass of ruins, and a modern city tacked onto the edge. It works rather well actually. I got the train here, which was a long, sweaty, un-airconditioned couple of hours, but my first genuine taste of Thai public transport. The clientele are a bit more ghetto than in Britain - more akin to the greyhound in the US, which makes me think that the price of cars here must be rather affordable. However, the experience was certainly not traumatic by any means, and I will be doing it again tomorrow whenever I head to Kanchanaburi - the site of the epic bridge over the River Kwai.

A lot of people commented to me before I left on the Westernization, or rather, Americanization of Thailand. Certainly, a lot of Ayutthaya reminded me of American towns whilst I was walking through it - big wide roads designed for cars to drive quickly though, sprawl rather than a centre, and pavements not exactly designed for walking. However, it would be completely wrong to say that Thailand is becoming America - it is just apparent that there is a strange juxtaposition between fantastically maintained infrastructure, such as the road system, and most of the population still living in corrugated iron homes facing a polluted canal, with four mangy dogs and several chickens running around the house.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

whenever it rains it pours

Too true in Bangkok. It has rained most nights here at around 6pm, usually for about half an hour. However, tonight the heavens truly opened, and it rained for about 2 hours, flooding the streets and the shops. Very exciting. Although apparently the flooded areas were seething with cockroaches, but thankfully, this is something I have managed to avoid.

I am getting another rabies shot tomorrow. I have received conflicting advice as to whether I need these extra injections, but you can't overdose on rabies vaccinations, so I might as well get some extra protection. My bites are looking a little more infected than they have been, but then, it might just be part of the healing process. Tomorrow is my last day of antibiotics, so I'll have to see how the body fares without the added drugs. And all this wandering around means that my bandages get dirty faster, so I've been having to change them far more, which means that I am spending 200baht ($5) every other day on gauze and sticky tape. Fairly rushing through my cash. I am trying to start a budgeting thang, but man, it is hard. Maybe travelling alone for the next wk or so will be easier though - it is less easy to be tempted when I am alone, and not surrounded by other people saying "just one more drink". Though of course, I haven't been drinking for the last week for fear of walking into something and doing some terrible damage to my bites. What a wuss.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

a little bit more wandering

Last night all the other i-to-i volunteers came to town, and it was nice to see some friendly faces, and actually have people to talk to! As usual, we just hung out on Khao San, which was a bit frustrating, because, as exciting as all the bright lights and loud music is, I think I am a bit old for that sort of thing. Drunken people falling over and lady boys is not really my scene. There are a couple of other people who feel that way, so maybe tonight we'll be doing something different. We did go to a cool jazzy-rocky live band bar, for a while, which was fun, but my legs started to hurt, so I called it an early night.

This morning I decided to have another adventure on the river boat, and this time I pulled it off with complete aplomb. I headed to Pak Klong, which is a wholesale flower and vegetables market. As usual, whenever I got off the river taxi, I had no idea where the market actually was, since maps are no good at actually getting their position right, and it took about 20mins of fruitless (geddit??) wandering before I finally stumbled upon masses of flowers being sold right on the street. It was fabulous. I must have taken about 50 photos, and I was the only westerner there. Nobody minded the fact that I was just wandering around, camera in hand, with clearly no view to buy anything, which was good. So I had a nice time with the wandering, and made it back in one piece on the river boat. This afternoon I was contemplating Star Wars, but I might just lie by the pool and work on my rapidly fading tan.

Friday, June 03, 2005

flying fish

I gave myself a mission today, which was to go to the flower market at Thewes to take photographs, which I managed to some degree. Far from being the photographer's dream that it is supposed to be, it was a bit like wandering around a garden centre. There is another wholesale flower market that is open incredibly early in the morning, or rather, middle of the night, and I might try and go to that tonight with some friends. The other volunteers are in town, and I am sure I could convince some of them that this would be a worthwhile trip.

I used the river taxi to get to Thewes, and it seems that everytime I get on the river taxi, I end up either or the wrong one, or missing my stop. It is not the easiest service to use, with no rationality over which stops the driver chooses to stop at. This time I ended up in a random green leafy street of houses, and had to wait a half hour before I caught another taxi back down the river. This is before I managed to not get on the taxi that just crosses from one side to another. Being completely illiterate in this country is not good. Strange signs mean nothing, and public transport is just guesswork.

Like I said, whenever I made it to the market, it was a bit of a let down on the whole photography point of view. Still, I did some wandering, and came across a food market. The main thing being sold was fish, and it was amazing. There were catfish and snakefish so fresh that they were still flapping on their trays, with water being occasionally sloshed over them to keep them alive. This sloshing means that every so often an energetic fish escapes by leaping up into the air, riding the wave of water, and flops unceremoniously onto the path in front of an innocent browser. I saw this from 5 feet away, thank goodness. There were also buckets of what looked like tadpoles, and endless buckets of filled with eels, all slithering away on top of each other. I have to admit that they gave me the heebie-jeebies a little. I came away without any purchases, since I'm not sure that my new, more down-market inn would have the facilities to cook up a fresh pig's head. I did consider a turtle in a bucket for my sister, but I wasn't sure whether it was meant to be a pet or to be consumed.

All that wandering meant my legs were starting to be a bit sore, so I headed for the ever-reliable Sawasdee House for a sit-down and general relaxation, before I meet the other volunteers. They are in Bangkok for the weekend, and they usually want to party, although this weekend, I will definitely not be partaking. The last thing I want to do is drunkenly stumble into something, which I often do whilst under the influence, and set back my healing by several days. My bites are just starting to look like bad cuts rather than horrible bites, and I'd prefer them to stay that way.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

back at the doctors

After having been convinced by my mother to return to the doctor, I have now been given more rabies vaccine, and also been told the good news that my wounds are healing well. That makes me over the moon. I have also been given permission to do more walking. Yeh! A little bit more freedom. Actually, it still hurts rather a lot to walk, but now I think I might be able to get a taxi to a market and have a wander and take pictures, or something like that. I feel that I am certainly on the road to recovery.

I was officially the most annoying patient today, and my doctor was very patient with me, but it was actually a bit of an accident that we actually started to understand each other. In Thailand, there is no concept of "pre-exposure vaccination" - that is, preventative vaccination, so he couldn't understand why I had only had three injections. It was a small chart that revealed this possibility, but he has advised me, to be ultra safe and sure, to have all five injections, and I'll be protected in the future. I'll go with that. Who knows what sort of dogs are in Vietnam and Cambodia?

So, I treated myself with having my favourite breakfast in my favourite brekkie joint - muesli, fruit and yoghurt along with toast at the Sawasdee House. I would move here if they had a lift and a pool, but they have neither, so I'll stick with my vastly expensive (25GBP/night) hotel.

Oh, and I did my laundry. The mundanity.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

always a talking point

In order to keep an eye on my bandages, I have been wearing shorts and skirts for the last two days. This also has the added bonus of people giving me pitiful and/or intrigued looks as to why I have both legs bandages, as well as explaining the gimp walk. I have managed to generate lots of sympathy for myself, but of course I'm not complaining.

The sympathy is much needed, because today I had the unenviable task of cleaning and dressing the cuts myself. Rather painful, and took at least 45 minutes of dabbing things here and there, and trying not to freak out about the small, yet deep hole in my calf. I also found a small amount of pus in a shallow cut on my knee, so I'm debating whether I need to go and get it checked out again. Its the typical thing of not thinking that its enough to warrant going back to the hospital, in case I am wasting their time. Man, on this, I wish I had a second opinion. If only I had followed the family path and gone into medicine!

Today is going to be spent by the pool reading magazines. Yes, that might sound like a holiday to some, but whenever you are forced into not moving at all, it gets very frustrating. I definitely sympathize with my mum and her broken hip now. (Not that I didn't before mummy dearest!)