Last week Emily got her leg put into plaster. Today, we went to the Singapore General Hospital to see if it could come off. We had to be checked for SARS before we could even get into the building (ID check, temperature check), and once inside the doctors took enormous care to ensure that everything was okay – first they took an x-ray with the plaster on, then she saw an orthopaedic specialist who said it looked okay, and then the plaster was taken off, and the leg x-rayed again to be really, really sure. Through all of this, Emily just took it easy – she just lay on the bed, and let them get on with it, or allowed us to carry her around the different departments. This photo was taken 10 seconds after the plaster came off – she paused long enough to gaze at the nurses working on her leg with scissors. I’m not sure I’d have managed to stay composed myself! Finally a supporting bandage was put onto the leg, to help reduce the swelling further, and then her shoe went back on for the first time in a week. So all’s well that ends well.
Emily was also hugely relieved that she didn’t get any new medicine, because she was quite put off by the Chinese Medicine Shops we passed in the day. This photo shows a typical street side display – dried sea horse, sea cucumber and squid – laid out so that you can choose the best specimen. I don’t dismiss Chinese Medicine, because in China something’s working very effectively to keep a billion Chinese alive to some very, very old ages, but I wouldn’t fancy grinding up a sea horse and drinking it myself. Probably the worse bit is the smell of these shops – as you can imagine, dried sea food has a unique smell it is difficult to lose from your nostrils. Anyway, the worst that Emily will get this week is a spoonful of Calpol at night!
To celebrate Emily’s newfound mobility, we walked around the city for a while, and then took a boat trip along the Singapore river. The state government still seem to regard ‘old’ as ‘bad’, and although they have done some fantastic building restoration, the most frequent sight is an area of ground cleared of old buildings to make way for new ones. Since our last visit, they built this fantastic new theatre behind the girls, the shape, glass and spikes designed to look like a durian fruit. Its strange to see a 80m tall durian on the street, especially as the fruit is so smelly that it is banned from being carried on public transport in Singapore. There are lots of other restrictive laws and regulations in Singapore, all of which are designed to make the city a better place to live. For example, chewing gum is illegal in Singapore, and it is also against the law to leave a public toilet unflushed after use!