21:46 March 5, 2554
Walking to meet Nissi, my twenty four year old Thai traveling counterpart at the bus station, I carried our take-away rice dinners all styrofoamed up and ready to destroy the planet in one hand and my overstuffed explosion of a backpack slung over my slumped shoulders.
I closed one eye to squint at the oncoming traffic through my blurry smear of glasses lens, because really it all looks so much prettier that way, blended together with flashlight beams of color.
And I was so immensely focused on the delicate beauty of dim headlights and the now-ness of everything and so content with the here I am, boxed dinner in hand ready to start my journey-ishness of it all, that while crossing the street I managed to mangle my foot tripping over one of the stick up reflector posts intended to prevent casualties, which sent me sprawling straight into the street.
But on the bright side, my proximity to 7-11 was downright glorious.
Perhaps I’m beginning to understand the logic of Thailand after all…
I limped through the automatic sliding doors feeling the blood puddle up in droplets onto my sandals, and crusting between my toes.
“Yu ti ni?” I questioned, dramatically gesturing at my haggard foot.
The worker just looked at me strangely and continued stacking up the Top Ramon packets in a daring house of cards manner.
I repeated my question, this time with a bit more furrow in my brow, hoping that would carry my raft across all linguistical borders.
But to no avail.
In his defense, I was pretty much just holding my bloody foot while bouncing anxiously on the other shrieking, “Where is it??? (Yu ti ni) Where is it???”
On second thought, had I been Mr. 7-11, I too would have put an awful lot of excessive concentration into building that Ramon castle as well!
Thankfully Nissi took that moment to come to the same 7-11 to stock up on some carb induced nourishment for our journey.
She took one look at me and steered me into the right aisle and far away from Señor Top Ramon.
With a bit of strenuous decision, I eventually departed 7-11 with a goody bag of band-aids, rubbing alcohol and a packet of cashews for good measure.
After a short hobble south, squatting at the bus station in those warped blue plastic chairs, I gave myself the once over beneath the screeching fluorescent lights.
And after scraping all gunk away with the sting of alcohol, much to my pride and joy I determined that my wound looked just like Thailand, islands and all!
What a fabulous new addition to my body!
All I could think was that it had better turn into a scar.
I’m most certain that, had I been in Vietnam, my gory flesh would have born a startling resemblance to the rolling hillsides and stark plains of said country.
And one could pretty much insert any slug shaped country to fill in the blank on my bloody foot.
But despite all practicalities, my spirits were so high it might as well have been Mary Magdalene who appeared on my big toe I was so excited.
However, due to the way in which pointing the underside of your foot at someone in Thailand is about the equivalent of flipping them the middle finger and simultaneously cussing out their mother, it made doctoring up my barefoot in the bus station quite a feat.
Twisting myself out of proportion huddled in the corner so as to avoid attention, I slyly lifted up my foot, cautious so as not to reveal the bottom, contemplating all the while that ye-who-created-culture really didn’t take my above situation into consideration.
I’ll have to type it up and slip it into the suggestion box of the culturally correct for a little inquisition.