This blue marble

– and yet it spins


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There are no travels on my calendar, for the first time in 20 years. My only planned travel is to the grocery store, the market, and the healthy living shop, twice weekly. Is it bliss? Perhaps. Yet, traveling has not always been bliss, either. Here is my list of recent mishaps:

2019 No mishaps. Would have been total bliss in Spain, but my grandfather passed away while I was there.

2018 Earthquakes on Bali. It just kept shaking, for weeks. We were lucky to not be on Lombok or the Gilis.

2017 Seriously infected blister on foot in Namibia. The doctor was concerned about bone infection and gave me a heavy dose of near-last-line antibiotics. I could not walk well for a week which meant boat duty every day (observing dolphins, not so bad!).

2016 Post-op recovery on Bali. I had a torn meniscus and my knee ligaments were generally mangled by too much running.

2015 Dog bite on Bali. Spent half of my time there chasing rabies vaccines across the island, as stocks were low. Even if I had been immunized for rabies previously. “WHO protocol”, I was told.

2013 Appendicitis in Berlin (and a centipede bite in Kenya). I had surgery on day 2 and spent my week-long holiday at the Charité, on the 20th floor, either in the psych ward (why?!) or the post-op, filled with dying cancer patients. It was… interesting.

There was also a work trip to Stockholm once, where I crashed in a Segway on a karting track and had a mild concussion. The next day I found out I had two broken ribs, thanks to the pain that shot through me when I laughed.

All these calamities were minor. I was hospitalized only once. There were no repercussions, and I am still alive and healthy. Also, there were good times every time. For example when I was permitted to leave the hospital in Berlin and cleared to fly home the same night, at the end of the holiday (see here for the full post):

“Outside of Charite university hospital, I heaved myself grimacing into a taxi after my sister.
She: “schloss Bellevue, bitte.”
Taxi driver with big eyes: “jetzt?!”
Me in bad German/Dutch/English: um… Ich will laufen (‘lopen’ means ‘walk’ in Dutch but ‘run’ in German)
Taxi driver: “JETZT?!”
My sister: “no she means walk, spatzieren”
Me feebly: “ich habe Urlaub in hospital… Ich muss zurück nach Finland heute abend”
Taxi driver decides it better to stop asking and just drive the crazy tourists.”

(Copenhagen, Denmark; March 2020)

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