Monday, May 05, 2008

Hospital tales, lizard vandals and writing fun

Progress of Book 2, Stormshifter, in the Random Rain Cycle (all titles provisional):

And for those who want to know if I have sold it yet, the answer is no.

Hey, how's that anyway? Back in the race, with over 5,000 words added, in spite of spring cleaning and hospital visits.

The cleaning remains unpleasant (are there actually people who enjoy this thankless task?).

The hospital visit was inconclusive. Both MRIs show ... nothing. Other tests show that the problem has improved slightly, so we have opted for a wait and see policy. In the meantime I continue to be an eight-fingered typist. I set out for the hospital at 9 a.m. and arrived home at 4 p.m., so that was a whole day gone.

Highlight was hearing a conversation between a Chinese Malaysian family and a nurse, in Malaysian, with the crowning moment being - after much puzzlement on behalf of the nurse - her statement: "Oh, you're in the wrong place! You were sent to cuci darah (wash the blood, i.e. dialysis), not cuci luka (clean a wound)!" Which kind of brought home to me how intimidating the whole hospital environment must be if you don't speak the local language or English properly, and are not familiar with words like "dialysis".

The most depressing moment of the visit was looking around masses of waiting patients, quite literally hundreds as I went to 3 different clinics and the pharmacy, all with nothing to do except wait, and noting exactly two people with books (one of which was a text book and not being read anyway.) Where is the joy of reading for these folk? Where is the idea of making good use of tedious waiting time? Why, oh why do Malaysians not read?? And to the solitary middle aged Malay lady who was reading a book - good on you.

The news from our street over the weekend was of a nasty break-in, with a man and his 12 year-old-daughter being woken up by gun-toting intruders, threatened with a knife to the neck for good measure, physically slapped, and put in terror of their lives because they didn't have huge amounts of money and jewellery in the house.

Scares me witless, as we would have had even less if we'd been the ones robbed. I have given all my valuable jewellery to my daughters for just this reason, and I don't own huge amounts of cash to keep in the house anyway. At least we do have a good alarm system.

So anyway, with this story fresh in my mind while I was working yesterday afternoon, and home alone, I heard a noise coming down the passage. I rushed out and came face to face with an intruder, armed with inch long claws, foul breath and a toxic bite. Fortunately he was as scared as I was and took off down the passage at full speed, forgetting how he came in the first place. He ended up on top of a bookcase and smashed a rather nice Japanese vase before decamping out the grille of the french doors. He was also only a metre long, most of which was tail...

3 comments:

hrugaar said...

My mother just returned from South Africa, where the latest trick of the local crooks is to blow up the cashpoint machines (ATMs) to steal the money. What is wrong with these people?

Any story ideas from the lizard's visit yet? :)

Jo said...

The lack of reading is not exclusive to Malaysia. I have spent a lot of time in various medical waiting rooms over the last few years. I take my Palm Pilot on which I always have ebooks to read, but many people just sit there and do nothing but look depressed. Occasionally they might pick up a magazine on the table, most of which are hundreds of years old anyway.

Glad your intruder was a lizard and not a burglar. Very scary to have a burglary like that happen close to you. As for South Africa, I have a friend who has sent us many horror stories of things that happen in her part of the world.

karenmiller said...

Bugger that you still don't have an answer or a quick road to a cure. Very very very boring.

You'll be the fastest 8 fingered typist in the world!