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!
Someone special has come into my life and it’s a girl. She’s a few years old and of the 4 legged variety. A beautiful golden retriever called Ariel who is the sweetest gentlest creature ever.
lt was a bold move adopting her as not too long ago l was terrified of dogs. But l have decided to live life to the full and do things l have never before. To face my fears or correct misconceptions.
Already Ariel and I are getting on like a house on fire and l have fallen in love. She’s not going to break my heart and we’ll take good care of each other.
I worried when I came to HK that I wouldn’t have any friends. I needn’t have cos nowv I have not one but three best friends, of the four legged variety. Little Blackie, the puppy now cocky teenager, Little Wong and Big Wong, not sure if they are related but the trio are inseparable. Like all ‘siblings’ there is rivalry but when required they are very united against the common enemy. Any slight noise or sniff of a stranger and they trot out on patrol three abreast , no one hides or pretends he didn’t hear, no free loaders.
They have started following me out onto the main road to the bus stop which is kinda sweet. Makes me feel like a VIP being escorted, shame they don’t ride motorbikes and have the remote for traffic lights. On the other hand I worry that Little Blackie in his exuberance will leap on someone and he freaks out and mistakes it for an attack. Or they cause an accident crossing the road or worse still get run over.
But then I can’t stop them following me and I can’t do anything about the owner’s irresponsibility. All I can do is make sure they don’t go hungry. Even that is proving a pain, as I have to stand and wait for them to finish eating and bring the bowls back in or they will go AWOL again or be chucked down the slope where I can’t reach.
It infuriates me. Yesterday I went walkabouts to see if I could locate them. I found one behind my house near the allotments, all muddy and filled with water. Somebody just thought oh this is handy I think I might just use it and didn’t even have the courtesy to return it. My flat door doesn’t open onto the main path, you’d have to go round the side of the house and into my small open courtyard to access the water bowl right next to the door. It wasn’t even an inopportune act but deliberate.
You may think hey get a life, it is only a water bowl, a dime a piece, what’s the big deal? Well the big deal is lack of respect for other’s possessions. However worthless the item it is still theft. Exchange the bowl for a Ferrari, then we are calling the cops and talking about arrest and prison. I just thought what a f…… cheek. I don’t often swear but that illustrates the extent of my anger. The disappearance has been on-going, I have to date lost four bowls. I pay good money for them. I feed them out of the kindness of my heart because I can’t bear to see other living beings suffer; they are not even my dogs, everybody else turns a blind eye. Not my problem. None of my business. They are only dogs, let them go hungry.
Why sabotage my small act of kindness. The dog food is expensive because I don’t feed them scraps or leftovers. I buy proper dog food which don’t come cheap and lug 10kg down the damn concrete steps which is doing my back but buying in bulk saves a little. Every time I see another missing bowl I ask myself why I bother. Why do I persist in being kind in a world of pettiness and ignorance?Would it not be more sensible to spend the money on myself, eat a little better, take the minibus to go shopping or teach rather than walk a considerable distance. Save your energy as you tire easily.
Sometimes I do feel very weary and fed up and disillusioned. What’s the point of being good or kind or persisting in doing the right thing? What for? Who cares? Does anyone even notice? Well, I care and I notice and I refuse to bend to the will of the stupid petty neighbour, who doesn’t work but claims welfare, beats her son up and takes her frustration out on him and causes trouble for me at every turn.
I don’t tell you all this so you go wow Mama G aren’t you a good and kind person feeding the dogs even if you are struggling to make ends meet. I am just letting off steam and yes having a mini rant. You know what I resent most of all, it is not that people don’t appreciate your kindness, because I have learnt not to expect any gratitude nor thanks but that they use it against you.
Should I stop being kind? Am I just an idiot, insane, that crazy middle aged woman from abroad, who behaves very oddly?