OR, AN ACCIDENT BEFORE LEAVING FOR PARADISE, JUST THE USUAL SHIT FROM A CRASHING AND BASHING OLD BIRD.
Well folks I’ve gone and done it again.
In my wild enthusiasm to have a fresh start and go on a health kick on Sunday, after having, let’s say, run riot with sangria popsicles I crashed and burned immediately upon awakening. I got up and went to throw last night’s soup down the loo preparing for a house clean before my trip to Punta Allen the following day. I sped back past my bed catching my toes on the bed leg that rather protrudes, and went crashing down really hard on my left wrist and then knees, elbows and hip, whilst, I might say holding the fucking soup pan aloft in my right hand. Now, this weird automatic reaction I have noted before, for some reason you protect what you’re holding at the great cost of bodily harm. I’ve done this many times in a fit of the clumsies.
Now you might be saying that it’s my fault, but I promise you that normally when I crash and burn it’s due to lack of concentration and not the demon drink. This is why I keep banging on to you old birds especially, to go slow and concentrate on missions whether they be climbing ruins or doing the fucking dishes at home. This more haste less speed Rebecca had a stupid household accident and an avoidable one. This was the same dumb stupidity when I broke my foot in Mexico (link) stumbling on the hotel bathroom step taking my dry clothes with speed to my suitcase. True the step was high but it was because I was planning other stuff in my head and my spatial awareness flew out the window as it does.
As I sit here and write this from the paradise that is Punta Allen, looking gloomily at my fluorescent blue bandaged hand and wrist, I can recall it all in slow motion as you can in all those magnificent grand falls.
When out of the shock daze of my brain processing the accident, I sat on the floor assessing the damage. My knees I noticed first although they weren’t the worse of the damage by far, then my left hip throbbing alerted me to that being in contact with that hard marble floor. then my elbows, and oddly, for it was by far the worse of the damage, my hand and wrist.
Badly shaken I sat immobile for a couple of minutes, then very frightened stood up and looked in horror as my wrist started swelling in front of my eyes. ‘Oh my god, what if it’s broken’ rushed straight into my head. It took me about an hour to get some clothes on shakily, at this point the pain hadn’t overridden the shock and I would guess the fight or flight response. I limped, for yes I had also split my toes around the bedpost and now my foot was in pain.
This, of course, happened on a Sunday, luckily here though they don’t really rest on a Sunday and the pharmacies were open. I knew I needed a wrist brace whatever this injury was, however not one of them had one. I bought Arnica cream however then was told I could go to the hospital clinic down the road and they could sell me one and do an x-ray. Of course, I didn’t follow that advice not wanting to walk around more in the midday sun so I went to my sangria bar whereby luck a table of the owners’ friends sat, two of whom were nurses. I was told to go get a bandage, paracetamol and an anti-inflammatory and come back and they would patch me up and give my arse the jab.
I did as bidden and although the one nurse rather tightly bound my wrist and hand over a piece of cardboard as a temporary brace (she meant well but I saw a few empty bottles of beer on their table). The sober nurse expertly extracted the anti inflam from the vial into the syringe and marched me to the toilet where I dropped my pants. Jab given, I was given my post-doctor lollipop in the form of a sangria popsicle and I bewailed my fortune as did the lovely guy who invented these wonderful alternative sangrias, he also had had a fall two days before. His was saving a watermelon from falling while carrying other shopping and having his centre of gravity thrown off. With scraping more akin to a motorbike accident than a melon saving accident in the street and mine a failed action jump, we compared notes.
Charlie brought a brace around later but it was too small for my grossly inflamed stump but at least now I had the spoon like mechanism that goes into your palm as a support with this injury. Usually, we artists have a history of accidents so normally have most posts covered when it comes to a first aid kit. I rebandaged with the “spoon” more loosely before my fingers fell off.
My trip to Punta Allen the next day was in jeopardy. The conventional frozen peas and later frozen bottled water were wrapped in a sheet and moved in rotation around my hand and wrist while I whimpered and watched the box. Then the pain kicked in. It radiated all the way down my arm into my wrist then my hand, moving in different directions like an electrical current. I wasn’t due my next dose of Paracetamol yet and I felt sick to the stomach. My fingers still wiggled and I could rotate my wrist to a point but still? The bus wasn’t due to leave the next day until 4.30 which would leave me time for an X-ray if it still was a huge cause for concern. I would act as if still going, my hotel was booked and paid for and I was desperate to get out of town now as I felt very jinxed there and needed a change of scene.
I threw the heavy-duty Paracetamol and Aspirin at it (I had checked that indeed you can combine the two) and finished off my cocktail of drugs with a sedative. Yes, I did sleep. By six the next morning I gingerly unwrapped my bandages and it did seem a little less swollen. I necked more painkillers and throughout the course of the morning got the house very slowly in order and packed my bags with scant stuff but a shit load of medication.
The bus ride.
OK, it was a very stereotypical Mexican farce. I arrived early to make sure I got a bloody seat. I said to the guys there to make sure that they kept me a seat when it arrived, I was so early I went over the road for a couple of beers to ensure the high I already had on the painkillers were reinforced, then came back and saw the wreck of a van used for this trip. By any standards it was a disaster and already loaded with bags of cement, crates of beer luggage and some strange long tubes that ran under the seats to ensure that you would have to sit in a terribly twisted way for what was a four-hour journey rather than the two and a half hours promised previously.
We left the bus and taxi station, a motley crew who had climbed and squeezed their way onto an already overladen jalopy. No wiggle room was left and as soon as we left we saw the main road was cut off by an accident and seemingly a woman was waiting for someone else to get on board our sardine can so much reversing hooting and reopening of the creaky door new meeting points arranged for our mystery passenger. Finally, we got out of the log jam of chaos and picked him up from outside of a bloody ubiquitous OXO. Thinking we were finally on our way I breathed a sigh of relief. We chugged on for two more minutes and then pulled into a garage for fuel and tyre pressure checks. The jolly old driver then shouted out that we could pick up some snacks at the garage OXO and use the restrooms. There was a queue outside OXO. Trembling with fury I stayed on the bus and then suddenly thought I’d best go for the final wee so climbed over all the shit and went for my security wee. We were just around the corner from where we had started and half an hour into our journey. Anyway finally ‘poot poot’ and we were off down to the coast and the side of the beach I hadn’t yet visited. There was mile upon mile of the backs and entrances of private clubs hotels and bars and restaurants. Smart chic, ethnic chic, chic chic, it never ended. Plastic people queued and lurked and clashed long talons and fake boobs. It was straight from Dante’s Inferno. I hadn’t realised the extent of this industry, amazing. Repulsive yet fascinating I looked slack-jawed at this monstrosity. Beachside is a whole different Tulum and not a sight I wish to repeat. It’s clearly an overspill of Cancun now and a very unpleasant side of humans who have no soul at all.
Upon actually getting past the hell that is Tulum Beach we got on the real Mr Bumpy road and had to proceed with ridiculous caution. With my knees up to my chin and the man next to me who seemed rather keen to keep chatting in a really insensitive way after I told him I was quiet because I was in pain, I found myself thinking that I had pushed myself too hard and this trip had been foolhardy. My long legs were being squidged in by his much shorter ones and one knee was rubbing painfully on the rope on the back of the chair in front. I pretended to gaze out the window and then grimly continued with my rummy game on my Ipad which I had tired of playing with since the beginning of this farcical journey. The road was long and hard but after a couple of hours, we saw a gap and finally the first lagoon in the area. The sun was setting.
I can’t even tell you how beautiful it was. As I clambered over the cases and bags of cement to get off our death trap of a van, I could smell the superb sea air. I walked across to the lagoon to take in the sunset, then over the road to the open sea and long narrow beach. It is the narrowest part of this long isthmus and is truly beautiful. Gulping down some of that briny air I felt hope. We reboarded and the rest of the journey was in the dark until we arrived at the village that is Punta Allen. People were dropped off at various points mine being the second to last and god! A sight for sore eyes.
Roseliz is a family run business and David welcomed me a gave me a quick rundown about mainly the electricity hours. (10/2 and 6/12. This also means for the WiFi too) and showed me to my lovely room that has a sea view and is twenty steps away from the aquamarine sea. With tables and hammocks set in the sand and a small kitchen opposite the walkway by the lower rooms and plants everywhere I could see that this would be a fine place for my recuperation. However, my broken body was paying the price for that long tortuous trip. Shaken all over for what turned out to be closer to five hours in that tin can will rattle even a fit body.
However, I had arrived despite all and knew I was going to be very happy here. Catch up with the next day here!