Tuesday, September 06, 2005


What's that old saying? 'Bad shit happens in threes'? I may be in the running for that right about now, is what I'm thinking. Or I may have eluded the third. Time will tell.

(Let me amend that. 'Bad shit' is what's happening to all those poor folks down in New Orleans. How about 'annoying shit'. That sounds more appropriate.)

Annoying Shit #1 -- A small constellation of ugly red pimple-like orbs hovered near the periphery of my right armpit last week, slowly spreading out towards my arm. (Also towards my bum, oddly enough.) A fungus, is what it was. One of my students is an assistant at a medical clinic, so I took here advice and got some medication from her boss, a friendly Vietnamese doctor who was trained in America and somehow ended up practicing medicine in Cambodia. (Does it worry me that his degree is from 'The American University of the Caribbean? Yes. But given how bloody expensive the western doctors are around here, I'll take my chances.)

Annoying Shit #2 -- As the fungus slowly started to recede, a very painful insect bite below my right knee started to swell and swell and swell. (At least I think it's an insect bite; I'm not sure.) It got so bad that I could barely walk. Yesterday I went back to the same doctor I saw last week, and he shoved a needle in my ass, while my student, his assistant, watched. (That's embarrassing. Before I came to Cambodia, I had a perky, pretty Japanese nurse shove a needle in my ass, and I thought that was embarrassing. It was, but having your student see your ass is, well, something else. Not that I'm ashamed of my ass or anything.) After that, I watched him drain the pus out of my wound. Fun stuff. Today I went back, had another needle shoved in my ass, got some more pills. Have to go back again later today.

But here's the thing. The other night, leaving a friend's house, I was looking for a moto to take me home. (They roam around Phnom Penh at all hours.) A Khmer man, obviously quite drunk, approached me. He said he had a moto; I didn't quite believe him. "Why do you betrays me?" he asked me, as I flagged down another moto. His body brushed against mine. Again: "Why do you betrays me?"

Let's just say that I got the fuck out of there. Quick.

That was the third bad thing. I'm convinced of it. I dodged it, avoided it, averted fate and broke the dictum in two. A third bad thing was supposed to happen to me, but, for reasons beyond my understanding, destiny had a different plan in my mind.

This is what I'm hoping.

But who knows?

Given the (somewhat) dodgy credentials of my seemingly-competent doctor, you could, very soon, be reading a post about how all those cliched truisms we grew up on are, in fact, right on the money.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

maybe the series of events is all the aftermath of the boy peeing on the street. It may be that he actually managed to reach you while on the moto with a fine mist.