A Flair For Dramatics - The Stuff I Never Talk About

My life used to be quite ordinary and boring, unusual things as good as never happened to me, but all that was before I moved to China.

Now that I'm in China strange things happen to me all the time. It's kind of fun, most of the time anyway. Sadly I often forget (purposefully, due to lack of time) to write about all those amazing things that I do, like for example when the training school I work for formally requests that I host our annual dinner party. I was of course honoured and flattered by the request and sold on the idea when they mentioned the handsome guy who would be standing right next to me, hosting with me.

As you can see the whole event was very professional with a stage, big screen, microphones, music and a whole lot of other things. Well actually you can't see all that much from the picture, but you can believe me anyway.

I went all out and bought a new (rather expensive) Chinese-style dress, had my hair done professionally (naturally Marilyn Monroe-style, an West-meets-East type of thing) and I also had somebody tend to my make-up.

No hosting event would however be complete without at least one big faux-pas and mine came when I had to introduce the Centre Directors of our five centres here in Hubei and completely messed up the names and centres. I somehow managed to make it look like I'd done it on purpose and got everyone laughing with a joke before formally inviting our CDs up on stage...

I can tell you, hosting (especially live) isn't really my cup of tea, however I would be open to getting more practice. It's nerve-wrecking but I do love a challenge and the opportunity to do something special, something you don't get to do everyday.

Sometimes those strange things that happen to me also include me on a stretcher in the emergency room… Naturally not as much fun as being a host however equally as nerve-wrecking. If you know about my burn accident then you should know that I'm very well acquainted with hospitals in China and also very grateful for the amazing treatment I've received when I really needed it the most. I was looked after and cared for and made friends for life. As such I get quite defensive when people bad mouth the entire Chinese medical system and only negatively criticise doctors and nurses. Things mightn't be perfect but they are certainly not as bad as some people make them out to be...

Long story short, my visit to the emergency room wasn't planned at all (not that a visit to the emergency room should ever be planned) and actually rather scary. The whole thing happened quite suddenly and out of the blue at a dinner with some good friends. That afternoon I went to the hospital since Dr Z, a good friend of mine, had helped me to arrange a check-up at the dentist. Following the check-up I joined him and a few friends for a lovely dinner. Since any good dinner should come with some wine, we opened a bottle of red and Dr Z, who doesn't like it when I drink, graciously allowed me to have two small glasses of red wine.

The drinking of the wine led to an allergic reaction of epic proportions, which scared the living day lights out of everyone at the dinner table. Two small glasses of wine aren't nearly enough to get me drunk or even a little tipsy but for some reason the wine made me feel really bad and not long after drinking it I discovered a rash on my hands and arms. I showed it to Dr Z but thought nothing more of it untiI started to feel seriously dizzy. I turned to my friend and attempted to tell him that I didn't feel so good but according to him I only uttered incomprehensible gibberish. That had Dr Z on high alert and what comes next is his account for I don't really remember. I just recall having trouble breathing and then everything is kind of blank. I only recall bits and pieces and they don't make much sense.

Dr Z and another friend of mine, also a doctor, had to carry me to the car to drive me to the emergency room. Thankfully we chose a restaurant across the street from the hospital that night so it wasn't a long trip and I got the right medication and the right treatment straight away. Apparently finding a vein to stick a needle into me was a bit of a nightmare for I kept throwing up and the nurse was close to tears with despair. Normally I would highly object to being poked with a sharp object more than five times but like I said I was too busy throwing up and struggling for air at the same time. Minutes after I got the medication I started to feel better and relaxed. I had to stay in the emergency room for a while since I had to get some IV fluids, but got released after a few hours.

Yes, so like I said, my life here in China is anything but boring... Watch this space, you might never know what happens next... ;-)