falling action

I never expected the aftermath of my accident to be so much harder than the actual crash.

More than the pain and inconvenience, I’m crippled by embarrassment. I am a cliché, hobbling around wrapped in bandages like so many other stupid westerners. And I’m angry at myself for caring so much about others’ opinions, but it’s hard not to when locals and travelers alike stare at the massive scrape over my entire arm, and my accident has been the only topic of conversation for the past week. I’m starting to see (on a much lesser degree) what it might be like to have a deformity, and while I put on a good front, I don’t like realizing just how much vanity drives me.

Beyond the superficial, I can’t shake the feeling of helplessness that has descended on me like the gritty humidity of Saigon. The crash itself made me feel like such a burden to travel with, and still not being able to walk well is infuriating. I ride my motorbike to the hospital to get my stitches removed, and I feel myself finally breaking down when I get utterly lost for hours in the maze of Saigon’s never-ending traffic.

And despite spending six nights recovering in this city that reminds me too much of my dislike of Bangkok, my plans are still quickly leading me to a dead end, as I hurry back down to the Thai islands for a diving course I won’t be able to do with fresh wounds, a volunteer assignment that will in all probability fall through, another Full Moon Party that I’m terrified will be a disappointment compared to my first one, and another chance with the boy that I didn’t manage to leave behind after all.

Though I suppose, if anything, this trip has taught me that everything works out in the end. So here’s to the end of Vietnam, and another adventure in Thailand.


3 thoughts on “falling action

  1. Adele

    Hi Emily,

    I came across your blog today when I did a google search on a book quote that you had used in an earlier post. I want to let you know that I completely understand how you feel and what you are going through.

    I left my job last year to go travelling for a few months and I suppose, on a deeper level, on a journey to discover myself. Like you, I left behind everyone I loved (and yes, there was a boy involved as well) and everything I owned to escape to the other side of the world in a frantic endeavour to pull myself together. I feverishly hoped that I would come back to my normal life inspired and refreshed from my journey. Typical quarter life crisis woes:p

    It takes amazing courage and guts to do what you are doing right now. I want to say to you: Don’t be discouraged by your current injuries; don’t think of the setbacks/potential issues ahead. Just continue breathing, doing what you want to do, and making the best of each situation. Trust me, you won’t regret it. But I’m sure you don’t need another girl on the other side of the world telling you that! 😉

    Hope everything goes smoothly for the rest of your trip!

    1. Emily Garvey Post author

      hi adele!
      thanks so much for your kind words! it’s always nice to hear that other people go through (and emerge from) the same crises!
      i’d love to hear how your trip went!!

      1. Adele

        No worries, I was pretty happy to find someone else in similar position and doing the same things that I did haha! I come from a small town in Australia – so most of my friends still think I’m crazy for leaving the country and quitting my job to travel! But hey, so what? We are the girls who travel! 😉

        Well I was far less adventurous than you to go travelling in Asia by myself (you certainly have guts!). But I had always regretted not being an exchange student in Europe whilst in college so when time came to choose where to go I decided it was finally my time to check out Europe! 😛

        Being rather in love with movies cliches: I went wandering up and down the streets of London, ate chocolate croissants in Paris, fed swans in Lucerne, bought a bikini in Malta, got lost in Rome, hiked a mountain in Naples, gazed on windmills in Mykonos, dined on gelato in Athens, roamed the seaside town of Santorini, and explored the ancient city of Ephesus in Turkey!

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