So I had a few fun things I wanted to blog about from this weekend. I went on a hike up one of the mountains surrounding Thimpu with my two awesome neighbors, Tashi and Supe, to a monastery to visit their guardian deity. I got to be a part of a live show called Ode to Ovaries showcasing female musicians (I told jokes in between songs) and listen to Kesong and Yangchen, two friends of mine, rock like no other.
But then I got bit directly on my booty by a stray dog, and all that went right out the window. Because honestly, that is one of the funniest things I can think of (note: funny, not fun. Nothing about the experience was fun in any kind of way, except possibly when I realized what a good blog post it was going to make).
So, the story:
I was walking over to my friend Liz's apartment, where we were going to meet up before walking across the street to Yumi's place for dinner. I was feeling pretty pleased with myself, given that the day before I had gone on that hike, thus proving to myself that I'm not totally out of shape (my thighs were/are killing me, but that was/is beside the point) and the music show had been such a good time. Ensconced in this glow of well-being, once I got past the pack of hellhounds that live up in my neighborhood (they know me by now, so they just sort of stare me down as I walk past, so that I know my place) I stopped paying attention to whether or not there were dogs in the vicinity. It was getting pretty dark as I turned down the street leading to Liz's apartment building, but I was preoccupied with thoughts about whether or not I had left the brownies I was bringing in the oven for too long, because the edges looked a little crispy and maybe too brown...
Well, anyway, as I walked along, I heard a low growl from my left, in front of a small gate partially obscured by a bush. This didn't freak me out too much, and I even remember the half-formed thought "the dogs around here are all bark and no bite" beginning to float up to the surface of my mind. The reason it was a half-formed thought was because right about the time my brain got to "all bark" AIIIIIEEEEEEE a skinny black dog who had been crouching by the gate leaped at me, growling. After snapping at my heels and barking menacingly, he ran around behind me, jumped up and bit me: a direct hit to my right butt cheek. It all happened so fast -- the time from low growl to butt-bite was maybe ten seconds-- so I really only had time to scream as he went for the metaphorical kill.
As soon as he had made his views on my being on his road known and hit the ground again, he stood behind me, barking his furry little head off. I was so surprised (I mean, doesn't that sound like something that could happen to somebody else, but not to you?) that I just sort of scurried down the street, trying not to run in case Fur-Face took it into his head to give chase. It was only about thirty seconds to Liz's front gate, but it felt like I was in some sort of horror movie, and that any minute I would feel the hot breath of the butt-biter bearing down on my left cheek. Luckily for me, he just stood in the middle of the road, yelping at me like I had done something wrong.
Given my state of mind, I probably looked a little frazzled when Liz opened the door in response to my ringing the bell. I asked her if I could use her bathroom, which made her think I had some sort of indigestion or something. But when I told her and Kueron, a friend of ours who was there helping make food for the potluck, what had happened, they showed the dignity of their characters by not bursting into laughter immediately. They were actually the perfect combo; Liz was super sympathetic, which obviously made me feel like a total bad-ass (hah! pun totally intended) and Kueron had some mad first-aid skills.
Now, this leads me to ponder a pertinent question: why in Heaven's name did that dog decide to bite my ass? I mean, he had to jump to get to it; he could have bitten my ankle, or my leg, or my foot, or really any of my lower appendages with much greater ease. I’ve never really thought of my butt as the most attractive part of my anatomy; it’s just your every day, run-of-the-mill small female butt. The reason I ask this is because it wasn't enough that I had gotten bitten by a stray dog, meaning I would have to get tetanus shots, rabies shots, and probably a series of antibiotics. No, his choice of bite zone meant that any kind of bandaging that had to be done would have to be completed with me mooning whatever kind soul was willing to swab my buttocks with disinfecting soap and slap some cotton on there. Thank goodness Kueron is stout of heart, or else she would have collapsed with laughter during her totally professional treatment of the war zone on my booty.
So after she had fixed me up, Liz and I went over to Yumi's and had our potluck, while Kueron went to her previously planned dinner. I figured I would just go to the emergency room the next day and submit to whatever pokings and proddings were necessary to keep me rabies-free. But Kueron, being awesome, offered to pick both of us up after dinner and take me to the hospital, which really made me feel a lot more secure about my non-frothing-at-the-mouth future.
When we got to the emergency room, there was a short wait and then we were all ushered into the doctor's chamber. Thankfully, she was both a woman and a professional, so she didn't burst out laughing when I told her what happened, despite the fact that Liz, Kueron, and I were all giggling a bit at this point (what a pain in the ass! cracked Liz while we were waiting in line, and we burst into peals of laughter). The doctor inspected Kueron's expert bandaging, and said that I could leave it like that until the next day. I was then shipped off to the pharmacy for my shots and medication. After I got a tetanus shot in one arm and my rabies shot in the other, I was sent home with a bag of antibiotics, some painkillers, and a wash to put on my wounded behind to keep it from getting infected, which is the biggest fear at this point.
Now let me just paint a picture for you. My legs are sore from the hike. My butt is sore from the bite. And now, both of my arms are sore from their respective shots. Oh, and I also have a zillion bug bites on one foot, and I have no idea where they came from. If I stand up for too long, my legs start to hurt…but if I sit down for too long, my behind starts to hurt. If I lie on my side for too long, my arms start to hurt. I am in quite the condition... but hurray, I have painkillers!
Na, in all honesty, it's not that bad. I'm sure I'll be right as rain in about two weeks or so, and I got a darn good story into the bargain! Once I'm done with my rabies treatment on September 16th, one month from now, this whole thing will be like a really bizarre, mildly painful, uproariously funny dream. And from this day forward, I will take a version of Teddy Roosevelt's advice and walk softly but carry a big stick. Or possibly a stun gun.
Love to everyone from
PS: I had a realization today... since I've been here, I've intentionally killed both a cockroach and a spider, which must have given me some seriously bad karma. Sigh... I should have known that would come back to bite me in the ass. Hahahahahaha...
I'm sorry, I couldn't help myself.