Before you all get worked up and steamy I’ll have to disappoint. Not that kind of encounter but one with the concrete outside the posh supermaket and it was my face hitting the ground first and my two front teeth were not happy. Neither was my bleeding mouth, scraped hand, face, knee nor my bruised arms. Being the gated community immediately half a dozen security guards surrounded me like it was a crime scene. And Filipino and Indonesian helpers were rubbernecking to my great embarrassment and annoyance. Now I know what it feels like to be a fish in a fish bowl or a zoo animal!
And all this on the second day of the Year of the Horse and it would be sunny and warm and I am feeling this year could only get better and better. I have my adoring friend who loves me unconditionally, we are talking a walk to the local supermarket to pick up a few groceries. What could possibly go wrong?
As fate would have it a lion dance troupe had just arrived to herald in the new year and to gobble the lettuce with the red packet (lei see) which means good fortune. In my excitement as an honourary ex-pat I made the idiotic decision to soak in the atmosphere while Cleo was protesting and barking, distressed by the loud drums. Being an inexperienced dog owner I didn’t appreciate that with her super-sensitive hearing the decibels must have been hurting her ears. If we had walked away immediately I would have stayed intact but alas hindsight is a beautiful thing. If only we all had our personal crystal ball to gaze at!
Too late I started heading home when she ran like Pegasus and since I am no Bolt, of course I couldn’t keep up and fell flat on my face literally. In retrospect at the first sign of this speed I should have followed the advice of the airlines, put on your own oxygen masks first before helping your kid and others. I held onto the lead for dear life because I didn’t want her to run into the road and get run over. But I guess drivers would see her coming and it is not the main road but within the gated community where joyriders fear to tread.
In any event the unexpected encounter with the ground forced me to let go and she was out of sight. I was in shock nursing a bleeding mouth and sore all over. I kept insisting on getting up and look for my dog and they kept trying to persuade me to stay put. The facts having been ascertained quickly an ambulance was called. After getting my bearings I insisted on getting up and going home to see if she had headed there and a security guard accompagnied me. They said don’t worry we have sent people to look for her but the trouble is she doesn’t know them. To cut a long story short I found her cowered in a corner of the front yard slightly traumatised but none the worse for wear. I coaxed her back into the flat while being pressured to hurry up as the ambulance had already arrived.
Wow I am truly impressed. That was quick, within minutes of the unfortunate fall from grace. My injuries are minor. I would feel very confident if ever I suffered a heart attack or my life was in danger. This is HK after all. This is one time I am thankful for the speed and efficiency.
They asked me what happened, my injuries, my medical history. I kept saying don’t waste your time, I don’t need to go to A&E, go and save lives, I didn’t bang my head, I didn’t lose consciousness no, not even for a second. But bless them, I think after hearing I had had a recurrence and have a heart condition they insisted I be checked over by a doctor.
They talked to me like I was an unco-operative kid. Ah but surely you’d want an anti-tetanus jab cos of your open wounds and maybe even some pain relief? Lie down on this stretcher, let’s just measure your blood pressure and take your temperature. BP was bit low probably due to the shock but temp was ok. One minute you are upright and all is well with the world and the next you have come face to face with the ground. Not advisable.
Being the eternal journalist I tried interviewing the young and dishy ambulanceman while lying down wounded and he was very sweet and played along and then advised me to just rest. In no time at all we were there. Didn’t have to wait, got wheeled into one of those cubicles, oh yes, I know them well, deja vu, it is all coming back to me now. Sick of the bloody place. But even 6,000 miles away I can’t escape, like a bad smell that lingers.
Got the anti-tetanus jab and a painkiller one for good measure. The pain in my arm was so bad that they had to give me another one. Doc came pretty sharpish. Recommended having my wounds cleaned and referred me to the dental department which is closed for business because of the New Year and so is outpatients appointments. He warned there’d be a waiting list as this is a government hospital and cheap and affordable. It’s true. It only cost me $100 the consultation, the treatment and you get a goody bag of paracetamols and tube of pain relief cream. I love HK.
Yes you do have to pay for A&E but the ambulance was free! Seriously impressed. Affordable, efficient, professional and user friendly. Everybody was kind. Nobody laughed or said you stupid idiot or you are wasting our time. We have better things to do, like lives to save. I asked the nurse who I should write to with positive feedback but he said he honestly didn’t know. And it was enough for him that he was doing his job properly, that is his reward. Oh bless. It seems like nobody ever writes in with a thank you or show appreciation for their professionalism and compassion. No doubt he would have been able to tell me the complaints procedure. No, no complaints whatsoever, a truly satisfied customer.
Got the minibus home as I only had enough to pay the hospital bill and used my octopus card, which is equivalent to the oyster in London. Back home gave extra TLC to Cleo and slept all afternoon to recover from the shock and the aches and pain.
I’ll probably go to my private dentist as I need to sort out my teeth asap. I look like a pirate now with chipped teeth, dressings all over the place and the arm is not too clever either.
Ah well we live and learn live and learn. Moral of the story: stay well away from loud drums and lion dances when out walking the dog. In my defence I didn’t know there’d be a lion dance at the supermarket. Wrong place at the wrong time? Story of my life!