It all started 2 weeks ago when I cut my finger. As many of you know, I should be banned from the kitchen - 2 Sundays ago explained why.... In a deluded moment of wisdom, I decided to use a drinking glass as a rolling pin as part of my chapati making saga (I should point out that I have done this successfully many times before). 2 chapatis in, said drinking glass shatters in my hands, sending a large shard into my thumb. I didn't even feel it, just saw mess all around me - and then blood dripping everywhere. I quickly rushed to the sink and it was at this point, with the water coming in bursts rather than flowing, that I realised it was serious. Thankfully my phone was in the kitchen with me and I managed to call my neighbour who came through, then ran away to find a first aid box. Next thing I know, she's coming at me with cotton wool doused in spirit. I started screaming hysterically telling her not to come anywhere near me with it - she's used it on me before and it was agony on the tiniest of cuts, never mind a deep slash. So she runs next door to wake my other neighbour who goes into nurse mode. To cut a long story short, I ended up with 3 stitches and the world's biggest dressing, followed by a struggle to find enough cash to pay the hospital bill leaving us no money to get home - we were saved by a Doctor who drove us to the Mall where we were met by VSO staff who dropped us at the nearest pizza joint.
It's not until you lose the ability to use a thumb (and neighbouring fingers) that you realise just quite how much you use it. Especially in a volunteering setting. There are so many things that I just can't do right now - cooking, washing my hair, washing my clothes etc etc. Since that first visit I've been to the hospital four more times and have what I hope will be my last visit tomorrow. My stitches were taken out on Monday but there seemed to be some sort of infection. This looks to be clearing up (thanks to the 9 tablets a day I am taking, as well as my anti-malarials) and it is hoped I'll get the all clear tomorrow. What this means, however, is that I'll be left to dress my thumb myself - I still won't be able to use it for another couple of weeks. And I'm seriously hoping the scar is going to fade because it's not the prettiest.... I should mention that the staff at the hospital and VSO have been great, as have my neighbours and friends without whom I'd be a dirty, skinny wreck by now!
Ok, so since this incident and all the dramas that went with it, it culminated in what has to be my most unforgettable public holiday EVER! The following all took place on Monday...(imagine the "24" beeps...)
Incident No 1
Head to airport with a friend to book a flight ticket. Get there at 8am to discover office doesn't open until 9am (website was wrong!). So we decide to head to hospital and come back (I'm due to get stitches out). Heading out of hospital grounds, taxi stops to pick us up. All fine, until about 50 yards down the road we see a guy running towards us with a spiked club. Taxi starts reversing at breakneck speed. We have no idea what's going on - find out, it's an airport security guard trying to catch the taxi because he's not an airport taxi and so shouldn't be picking people in airport grounds. So i start freaking out, telling the guy to stop. He keeps reversing and is an inch away from running a guy over. I force him to stop and we get out and cross over to the other side of the road. Only for the (laughing!) security man to throw the spiked club under the car which obviously sets the tyres off, sending the car spinning out of control and heading straight for us. We have nowhere to run because of a giant fence lining the pavement. Taxi man thankfully got control and sped off, only to hit an SUV and get clamped by police. Scariest thing I have ever encountered - think I went into shock a little bit as started crying and then shouting about what a ridiculous system that was, just put a barrier in place!!! Was all set to find head of security and complain then realised it would only frustrate me as nobody would listen.
Incident No 2
I won't go into too much detail about this one, but let's just say I saw red at the second taxi driver who, 10 minutes after incident 1, ripped us off - really wasn't the time for him to be doing that, and I lost it.... Didn't get the money back, but did manage to confuse the hospital security guards who heard the taxi driver's version (no doubt painting me as evil while lady) as I smiled and said Good Morning as I was leaving the hospital. Quite funny.
Incident No 3
Hospital - get stitches out (awful). Realise thumb is swollen and possibly infected and nerves through my hand and up my arm are affected. Also have this weird little bubble coming out the scar. Not a pretty sight.... Had to get blood test and was given loads of anti-biotics/painkillers. (As per above, it looks to be ok now but I was worried at this point).
Incident No 4
While I was waiting on blood results, my friend had their own drama about the flight ticket, resulting in a race against the clock to get to another office, home for more cash, then back to the office. All fine in the end.
Incident No 5
So after an incredibly stressful morning (it's only 1pm by this point) we get back to the flat and decide to chill with a movie before heading out for late lunch. Engrossed in the movie, all of a sudden this almighty "boom" happens. If we had glass windows, I guarantee the glass would have blown in - the whole building shook, it was totally crazy!!!! Turns out there was a gas explosion in the neighbouring street. Scared the living daylights out of both of us!!!! Watched the last 5 mins of the movie then decided we needed beer. The latest update according to the newspapers is that 6 people were injured in the explosion, and the flying thing that we saw hurtling through the air at the time of the explosion was part of the gas cylinder that landed in the grounds behind the flat - scarily close.
Incident No 6
Got to restaurant to find the world's most rubbish service, the wrong food served and a kid being sick all over her dad at the next table.
Rather than that being the end of the drama, there's been more of a sliding scale comedown rather than an outright end to the madness. Yesterday after yet another hospital visit, I spent an hour standing by the dusty roadside for a vehicle that was never coming. I gave in and forked out for a taxi only to sit in 45 mins of traffic. Long long morning.
Then this morning I received a seriously racist email in response to my laptop appeal (I had put a message on a recycling website only the day before). That shocked me and I'm now waiting to find out what action the website is going to take.
I can only hope that this is the end of it!!! I'm going out for a VSO dinner tonight and then hopefully to the beach on Saturday for what I desperately want to be a fun and relaxing day!
Only 6 more weeks until my trip home. I can honestly say I think I've earned it just in these two weeks alone!!