Singapore Adventure

Thursday, April 27, 2006

You're Getting Sleeeepy
by venitha

A dear friend has consistently added bright and hardy Colorado wildflowers to my wimpy traditional Western medicine bouquet. I had deep tissue massage to improve my circulation; it didn't work, but it hurt enough that it should have worked. I had acupuncture with electrostimulus to promote healing of my broken pelvis; yes, needles and electric current down there. I consulted with a pet communicator; she made me feel better and Maggie liked her, both of which are not things I could say for Maggie's vet at that point.

I viewed Eastern medicine and the orchids that awaited me in Singapore with some excitement. Yoga might calm my frantic mind, Chinese herbal tonics might give me thick luxuriant hair, and acupressure might stimulate my metabolism to the point that I would be rail thin in spite of eating nothing but extra thick chocolate malts.

I must admit, however, to disappointment and defeat, and not with Singapore or with Eastern medicine but with myself. I'm planted next to a vase of carnations, unwilling to push my limits. The only medical care I've sought here is that which makes me comfortable. I like my Canadian doctor's trustworthy manner and his nurses' capable Aussie accents, and the pasty mix of Caucasian expats in his waiting room makes me feel at home.

In stark contrast, Singapore's tropical climate nurtures alarming flora. I look with fright at the very ill patients seated on benches outside the acupuncture parlor. And what is that urine-colored liquid they're drinking? I steer clear of the scary Chinatown pharmacies and their glass jars of gnarled roots and bones. Well, I don't know what most of those things are, but bones is as good a guess as any. I live in mortal fear of a dental emergency on our travels. What exactly are your options for a root canal in rural Cambodia?

You wimp, Venitha! I berate myself. Do you want to gain nothing from this experience but hundreds of whiny blog posts, ten pounds, and a worshipful appreciation of American hairdressers? Be brave!

Suitably chastised, I put the carnations in a bigger vase and scavenge for something to dress them up. Yoga? No, the treadmill now absorbs my stress, and I have this blog onto which to regurgitate my spastic thoughts. Herbs? No, I've got another year to endure here, and I'd better save what remains of my adventurous food appetite for things that have at least some remote possibility of tasting good. Acupuncture? No, there is a different standard of cleanliness in Asia, and the risks from unclean needles are just too great.

You wimp, Venitha! Be brave!

I am apparently unwilling to risk my body, but, hey! Trophy wives have no need of minds: hypnosis! Besides, how much damage could it do? I've got brain cells to spare, or at least that's what I tell myself every time I wake up far from daisy fresh with no memory of the night before and a hangover that would kill small farm animals.

In my head, I hear my father's timeworn excuse for refusing the aid of hypnotherapy in quitting smoking: They might make me bawk like a chicken every time I hear the word egg. I steadfastly tune him out and bravely make an appointment for next week.

You see! It's working already, calming the voices in my mind. Luxuriant hair, raging metabolism, and an enormous armload of Vanda Miss Joaquim orchids can't be far behind.