Friday, December 17, 2010


Although the electricity might have been off last night, this morning it was back on, the flat a paradise of warmth and fully operational consumer gadgetry.

And then I woke from my blissful slumber to discover the power was still out, which meant no hot water for a shower and a long walk down the stairs to the chilly world outside.

Somewhere along the way this week I tweaked a muscle in my back under my left shoulder blade, and as the week has gone on and things have got colder, it's turned from a minor weakness into a fistful of muscle, clenching my back and making my chest feel so tight it's hard to breathe.

Luckily, the doctor is close to the MTR in Central. Perhaps unluckily, he gave me twenty anti-inflammatories and told me to come back after Christmas if I was still alive and my body wasn't working. When I looked at the script he'd written out in more detail, it was for a sprained wrist/trapezius, which seems like slightly less attention to anatomical detail than you'd expect from a doctor.

Undaunted, I continued my journey through medicine by going to the dentist this afternoon. This fine speciment tickled my fiancee's gums with a brush until she giggled, and then drilled out a filling in my mouth and bunged a new, better one in, then brushed my teeth until they squeaked. And although I spent an hour in a chair looking up his nose while he tampered with my mouth, I never had the feeling he didn't know whether it was teeth he was dealing with or some other random bone structure. If you're ever in need of dental care in Hong Kong, an avuncular New Zealander with a steady hand and a helpful mouthside manner is the best you can get. And he's not expensive, either.

That fun over, I slinked back to the office for three more hours of technological wizardry, culminating in thirty minutes of screaming at the recalcitrant computer on my desk when everyone else had gone home for the weekend.

Obviously this was great preparation for comedy tonight, but luckily I was first on, first off, and first sprinting down the street. I did have one interesting back-and-forth with a Chinese guy who claimed that English wasn't an English invention: that's pretty fine chutzpah, if I do say so myself.

Oh, and one more nationality masquerading as a television station: Completely Normal Norweigans (CNN).

My twanged back was still giving me gyp, so we went for a massage, and although I was worried that 50 minutes of an elbow grinding on my back could make things worse, it actually seems to have fixed things. And so to bed.


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