Stepping On Stonefish

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July 3rd 2014
Published: July 3rd 2014
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The day began pretty much like previous one. Breakfast of champions followed by a walk down to the cove sans Eleanor. Dean wanted to snorkel back to our beach so I tagged along. We spied a large monitor lizard entering the sea for its morning dip, which was an impressive sight. Once Dean entered the water I began walking back and encountered the giant lizard emerging from the ocean. It look one look at me and scurried along the foreshore into a rocky outcrop.
Meeting the wildlife on the island continued throughout the day. Sitting on the verandah outside our room, I also commune with a couple of cheeky squirrels who eat some sort of green fruit in the overhanging tree and then drop the pips onto unsuspecting tourists below. A lizard runs up and down the same tree, scooping up little bugs, and a lonely Gecko calls out to the approaching darkness.
Dean awakens me from my mini wildlife adventure, informing me that Xavier has stepped on a stonefish. OUCH! That doesn't sound good and upon witnessing his leg in a big blue bucket, I guess it probably isn't. An elderly gentleman would magically appear and dab on a local remedy every so often and I half expected to see a cauldron bubbling with innards and outards left on the verandah as an offering. While busybodies like myself came to take a peek, Xavier took it in his stride. Unlike many children (and most soccer players), he didn't go down like a screaming tribesman. A couple of painkillers, another bucket filled with ice and some other treatments I didn't hang around for (Eleanor knows I'm hopeless in an emergency) and Xavier pulled through.
Meanwhile back at the beach, Dean, Eleanor and Obe began their PADI course. A fun-filled day of theory. Videos, videos and more videos. Interspersed with quizzes. And more videos. According to Obe, Eleanor was happy to tick any box (much like NAPLAN), Dean was taking it seriously and Obe was desperately trying to see through the hangover fog.

The next day...

DESPERATELY SEEKING SHADE...An overcast start to what was to become a very sticky day - heatwise that is. Xavier and family pay a visit to a medical clinic in the village on the other island. His foot had swollen and an ear infection added to his woes. Wait, I hear you say! This sounds too familiar ... ear infection, sore foot ...well, this time it wasn't afflicting me or Eleanor. Xavier is the unfortunate recipient of this holiday momento. I spent much of the time hiding in aircon comfort while the PADI course continued. Only one video today, some skills stuff and then a 12 metre dive to see some turtles. Fortunately the practical component ofthe course was the major feature of the second day. I still marvel that a 12 year old can do it. I am so proud of our little girl.

There was no storm on this night. The cloying stillness forces me indoors to escape its sweaty grip. The rest of the rest of the party, however, savour the tropical heat and congregate on a small verandah to sip Long Island Iced Teas. When the Stitts arrive on the 5 pm boat, the Aussie invasion is complete. Six families, the total number of which causes me anxiety just thinking about it, all delighting in everything the island has to offer. I don't fear that this could become another Bali, but I do enjoy the fact that it's too far from home to lure the bargain hunting tourist. I also love that it's so relaxed and hasn't changed much in four years. I don't think the same could be said for other more accessible places on earth.

Day 5 of the holiday and the heat persists. The PADI divers see sharks, I finished two books (Burial Rites - Hannah Kent, The fault in our stars - John Green) and I continue to avoid the sun. I'm not a vampire or anything, but it's SO hot. Luckily our accommodation has lots of trees. At lunch I had it in my head that I wanted something that wasn't noodles or rice (having consumed one or the other at every meal since arriving in Malaysia) but I didn't know what. A trip to a small hamburger stall wasn't rewarding (the guy was juicing carrots at the pace of, what my mum would say "a wet weak" - whatever that means!), so impatience solved my problem. I went back to the original place where a few others were still eating and 'rolled the dice'. Under the 'Ginger' section of the menu, I confidently ordered 'Eggplant and Anchovy'. The lady who took my order was in disbelief. I honestly don't believe anybody has ever ordered that dish before. A conversation with the cook ensued and, confirming it was actually my desire to eat that crazy combination, my order was taken. And it was delicious. As was Nick's 'Blanded Smoothie'.

Continued on the next blog...

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6th July 2014

We are home (and freezing)
Hi Jane, love the blog. Have just woken up after getting to bed at 2pm last night (had to stop at Maccas in Elsternwick) It's Sunday and freezing. Hope you are enjoying Cha-ching!! Obe

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