This is my “say your name, where you’re from and something interesting about yourself” introduction. I’m Jacky, I’m from South Carolina and I broke my foot in Greece. Drunk off Ouzo? Hiking to the Parthenon? Having a tryst with a beautiful Greek man? Nope, Walking down the stairs thank you very much. Not only did I become a huge proponent of socialist medicine (sorry, everyone) but the power of optimism when everything goes to hell.
I worked as an Au Pair for the meanest family in Greece and after six weeks of hell, I managed my escape. Feeling joyous on my last evening, I skipped downstairs to the restroom, and a misstep in cheap Old Navy flip flops on an expensive marble staircase cracked my cuboid and left me stranded. Although my horrible family originally insisted I was fine, when I still couldn’t walk in the morning, the father agreed to take me to the hospital. I was flying to Germany the next day and it was on his way to the office.
The doctor didn’t ask for ID or money and after 45 minutes, I hobbled out with a still wet plaster cast up to my knee. I had a prescription for blood thinner the doctor told me to take if I didn’t want a blood clot to travel into my heart and kill me. I also had strict instructions to obtain a pair of crutches as quickly as possible. The pharmacy didn’t have enough of the medicine and crutches were much too expensive, so my Greek father decided I could fill the prescription in Germany (surely someone there can read Greek). You aren’t supposed to walk on a plaster cast for two days, but he figured me and my luggage could get from the hostel to the airport without crutches. Or any help. I didn’t know how to say fuck you very much in Greek but I was not about to let that asshole ruin the departure I had been looking forward to for the last five weeks. I dragged myself into that hostel with a smile.
This did not last long as the receptionist informed me I couldn’t check into my room for another 4 hours, and told me I looked tired, which we all know means you look ugly. She then noticed the cast and nicely sped up the check in process and made someone take my bags to my room. After a good long cry, I pulled it together, wrote a scathing blog post, wrapped my cast in a trash bag for a shower and got some food. I then called my mother who was shocked and worried, but also relieved I had finally escaped the “House of Bitch.” With that sentiment, I started looking forward to my German adventure.
My friends greeted me in Berlin with European Tiny Tim style crutches, we got some German beer and life improved 100%. Crutches are such a bitch but I was happy to hobble around Berlin enjoying the beautiful weather, good food and the amazement that comes exploring a new country. You know, when even the mundane is interesting because it’s in a new language or it’s slightly different from things at home. What? McDonalds gives you packets of mayonnaise with your french fries? Insanity! It’s the best. Plus, I got tons of sympathy from total strangers and found that my crutches were also good for pointing at things, hitting people and yelling “God bless us, everyone” whenever I felt like. I cut the cast off myself after two weeks. I had enough sympathy and I really wanted to scratch my calf. My foot still hurts if I walk around in heels too long and there’s this weird bump where the bone broke. I kinda like it though. Every time it hurts it reminds me of the absurdity of that entire trip. How once I got over that initial cry fest, it turned out to be an awesome vacation. So sometimes, when I want to live like I’m on vacation, I wrap my foot in an ace bandage and really enjoy whatever is going on around me, instead of thinking negatively. Like about how sweaty, hairy and itchy my leg is.
-Jacky (Guest Contributor)