Day Seven: Cold Weather = Pinky Toe Amputation?

My seventh day here was probably the least productive. Looking back I can honestly only remember going to a luxury shopping mall with Mike from the US. We didn’t mess around looking in clothing stores or any other typical mall type shops. We headed straight for Jason’s, which is a western style grocery store. Now, I haven’t been here for anywhere near as long as Mike has, so I’m assuming that with time I may feel the need to reconnect with my western identity in the same way he seems to be. He has been showing me a lot of the more western friendly/western style establishments, which I appreciate, but I’m also still very much interested in Taiwanese food, culture, etc. I’m guessing after a year here, I too may coo at the site of Jif peanut butter, however at this point in time I just shrugged.

After leaving the mall, we rode once again through the frigid cold to get back to my place. The temperature was a steady 45 degrees and riding around wasn’t so fun. After Mike had left my place I decided to change my socks and shoes. The moment I took off my shoe, something happened that changed the course of my day. As I slid my shoe off I noticed that I couldn’t feel it against my pinky toe, everywhere else on my foot could feel the shoe sliding, but not my pinky toe. I thought that it was strange so I took off my sock. I looked down at my foot and noticed that my pinky was flushed of color. It looked very yellowy, like there wasn’t good blood flow, jaundicey even. I took the sock off of my right foot to inspect its pinky and compare. It looked perfectly normal, just as like all of the other toes did. This is when panic began to set in.

I knew that something was seriously awry, how serious though I wasn’t certain.  I made my way to the bathroom and turned on the shower to let the warm water flow over my toe to heat it. I began to notice the coloring in my pinky toe change from yellow to red to a purplish color. This is when panic mode turned into extreme panic mode.  Around this moment I also considered, “Wow, I may no longer have a pinky toe…” I actually glanced down, held my thumb in front of my eye so as to simulate how my foot was going to look when they took off my pinky toe. I nodded my head in acceptance made my way downstairs and called the hostel owner to find where the nearest hospital was. She came down and walked me across the street to a doctor. The hostel owner spoke some Chinese to him to explain the situation. He had me pull my sock off then he looked at me and smiled. He started laughing and spoke some Chinese to the hostel owner, who told me, “He said, you’re going to be fine. You just need to put it in some warm water because it’s cold outside.” The doctor then laughed again, patted me on the back and said, “I’m sorry, I speak English forty five years, but I never good at conversation. You going to be fine, I promise.” I went back with my head hung low and embarrassed but the hostel owner and her boyfriend thought it was funny and didn’t mind at all. I put my foot in a tub of warm water for about 15 minutes and my toe looked back to normal.


– Cal


One response to this post.

  1. Loved it


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