Adventures in Frenemies

Meet Esmeralda. She’s been in my life for 3 days now. I’d like to say that we hit it off right away, but I can’t. I can’t even say that we have a love/hate relationship. Instead, it seems as though we’ve settled into some sort of twisted Junior High rendition of “You’re nice an’ all, but I hate you anyway” relationship.

Esmeralda: She’s nice an’ all, but I hate her anyway.

You see, she is really nice. She’s lightweight, smooths out the bumps in the roads, and is very shiny. Sources (i.e. a Google search for ‘what the heck should I look for when buying a bike?’) tell me that she has good brakes, and other fine qualities. I’m sure if we had met under other circumstances, (like if she was someone else’s bike) we would have gotten along famously. In fact, I really liked her when we met – as long as she still belonged to the bike shop. However, just minutes after making the purchase, she reminded me that she was, in fact, a mountain bike.

I hate mountain bikes.

Mountain bikes and I have had our moments. I’ve explored the volcanic Korean island of Jeju on a mountain bike (making up many new curse words along the way). I’ve seen the Cambodian countryside and the splendors of Angkor Wat on a mountain bike (what a delightfully flat country!) More recently (yesterday, in fact) I discovered a  friendly northern Thai sausage vendor because I was on my mountain bike. It hasn’t been all bad. 

In fact, coming home today, with a bag of recently purchased sour-pork sausages dangling from my handlebars, I came close to reconciling my relationship with Esmeralda. As I glided smoothly along my lane, a super decked-out uber-cyclist came from the opposite direction. He looked completely at home on his mountain bike, while I was still feeling like a bit of a cycling fraud. Apparently, he didn’t realize I wasn’t really a mountain biker, because he rang his little bell and smiled at me, as though we really were fellow travelers in a mountain bike world.  A warm glow enveloped me, and I smiled broadly, thinking maybe I really did belong…then I nearly ran myself into a bush.

The trouble is, no matter how much I’d like to think I’m all mountain bike-y and awesome, my dorky little heart belongs to bikes like these:

I wonder what’s become of this sweet ride. Seriously, look at the chain guard. It says ‘sweet’.

So, if anyone wants to take Esmeralda off my hands, and save her from a litany of imaginary curse words in the coming weeks, give me a call. She’s for sale.

Adventures in Odd Couples

Years ago, when I was in high school, one of my friends told my about a little road-side sign in Southern Ontario advertising “Taxidermy & Cheese”. It made me chuckle then, and it makes me chuckle now. What an odd combination.

This afternoon, my Mom forwarded me an e-mail involving taxidermy (yes, she really did). It’s been over a decade now that my neurons automatically attach ‘and cheese‘ any time the word ‘taxidermy‘ finds itself in my head. What does your average person do whilst thinking about taxidermy and cheese, and has Google at their fingertips? I don’t know about most people, but this person decided to see if her friend had been telling her a falsehood, and if not, to see if she could find photographic evidence of the sign. He didn’t tell a falsehood, and I did find photographic evidence…but that’s not all. I also discovered that as odd as the pairing is – it’s not the only one!!

Yes, that’s right.

There are multiple taxidermy & cheese combo shops in North America!!!!

Now, when I get a pedicure kit taped to my cream cheese, or a roll of paper towel taped to my tuna in the grocery store here, or find corn and potato wedges on my pizza, I have to remind myself that Korea doesn’t have the monopoly on bizarre combinations.

Adventures in Ambiliances

When I was a kid, apparently I loved a show called “Emergency!”. In the interests of proper blogging research, I’ve just watched the opening theme on YouTube, and must admit none of it looks familiar. Nonetheless, my Mom assures me that I loved it (when I was 3). I also had trouble saying the word Ambulance and it came out more like Ambiliance. I doubt I’m the only person to have had trouble with that pesky group of letters.

I was thinking these things today as I was actually speeding through the streets of Daegu in an ambulance today. It wasn’t an emergency; the orthopaedic clinic I’ve been going to doesn’t have it’s own MRI machine, so they sent me by ambulance to the nearest radiology clinic. We were speeding because … well, because we’re in Korea.

The experience was (thankfully) nothing like TV. There were no IV lines, wires, syringes, oxygen masks or people shouting “We need 4ccs of Haloperidol – STAT!” There was just a bright orange stretcher, a lingering stale cigarette odor, and the driver and I singing along to ABBA videos on the dashboard TV monitor.

Yes, you read that correctly. I spent my first ambulance ride singing Karaoke to Dancing Queen. Hopefully, my loved ones and I will all remain healthy enough for this to be my one and only ambulance memory. Bizarre as it is.

As for my test results, my MCL injury has healed well; however, my MCL treatment weakened my quad muscle. This teamed up with a tilted pelvis which is causing hypertension in my thigh muscle, which is pulling my kneecap out of place, which is causing chondromalacia, which is causing pain. It’ll take 3-4 months of physio to be up to snuff again, but I was thrilled that the doctor has now taken the word ‘surgery’ out of his assessment.

You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life….