Saturday, April 10, 2010


I was just about to eat some toast when there was a loud crash and a sound of pain from behind me, and I turned to see my girlfriend on the floor.

I never touched her, honest.

Perhaps she hated Marmite so much that she was trying to leap up and knock it away from my grasp, but whatever the motivation, she'd hit her foot on the edge of the table and was now squawking with pain, with one of her toes pointing in a different direction to the rest.

This didn't look good. Fortunately, there's a hospital two streets from our flat. Unfortunately, she couldn't walk at all, so I had to pick her up and carry her down the road.

Shortly, our guard came running after us with a handy wheelchair to use, which was better than me continuing to manhandle her through the early morning drizzle.

The exterior of the Hong Kong Sanatorium isn't set up very well for wheelchair access: high kerbs, pavements blocked with bollards, taxis turning around. I suppose at least if we'd been in Seoul there would have been a helpful team of police officers to stand around the wheelchair.

So I deposited her at the registration desk, and then had to run back to pick up her ID so she could register; by the time I got back, she was already triaged and in a room with a doctor. It's pretty good that you can wheel a person with a wonky foot in, and within moments they'll vanish into the inner workings of the hospital.

After about an hour, the diagnosis came back: a fracture, not a dislocation. My girlfriend seemed irrationally pleased at this. Personally, I don't think it's much of an achievement to break part of your body, but what would I know, I'm just a soulless automaton.

I then followed her up to the orthapaedic department, where she got to carry on sitting in a wheelchair while I had to push her around. There's a fine line between a fracture and sheer bloody laziness.

It's a nice hospital: shiny floors, new leather chairs, hardly any patients. And there's a television, so if only they had a toaster it would be marginally superior to my flat. However, the television is tuned to a fairly rubbish cartoon about astronauts, in Cantonese. I could change the channel, but I feel my girlfriend needs to learn a hard lesson about the consequences of kicking furniture.

I mean, never mind her toe. What if the table's irreparably damaged?


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