In mid-November last year, it became apparent that we would have to send our help back to her home country, as she was unable to obtain a working visa to remain with us. Being all too-aware that I would have to spend more time at home after her departure, I made plans with my friend, J, to go to Sungai Rengit for one last photo walk before the end of the year.
Sungai Rengit is essentially a collection of fishing villages on the south-eastern tip of Johor, Malaysia. This quiet, laid-back town is well-known for its seafood, especially lobsters. No wonder it is nicknamed Lobster Town!
After an hour-and-a-half on the road, we arrived at Sungai Rengit town. We decided to eat at the nearest food stall to get lunch out of the way. The place we picked was located right next to the beach. It was nice to eat under a breezy attap roof with the sand under our feet, while enjoying an uninterrupted view of the seaside and fishing boats.
After sharing some of my food with the resident cat, we went to check out the beach and surrounding neighbourhood.
We decided to drive further in to see what else Sungai Rengit had to offer. By and by, we came to a big seafood restaurant. However, it wasn’t the thought of tucking into a generous serving of delicious lobsters that caught our attention. We had spotted a walkway extending out to sea just behind the building.
We drove up to the walkway. It turned out to be a concrete path curving out into the sea and disappearing behind some rocks. However, our joy was short-lived when we saw a barrier with the sign: VISITORS ARE NOT ALLOWED BEYOND THIS POINT. The walkway appeared to be in good condition. The tide was low, exposing the rocks that formed the base of the path. No danger of strong waves sweeping us away. So we ignored the sign and made our way across the concrete walkway to see what was on the other side.
As we came to the end, I began to understand why the sign had been put up. The daily beating of waves had undermined the rocky base, causing a huge crack to develop right across the concrete path. I could see the rocks, broken steel and sea water underneath where I was standing. I carefully stepped across the uneven cracked surface and made my way towards the end. The dull, grey landscape in front of me was really nothing to shout about, but to my right and hidden from the general public, were huge rocks covering the shoreline, making this an ideal ground for lobsters to thrive.
After taking a few photos, I started to make my way back towards the restaurant, while viewing the pictures I had just taken.
Then, the unexpected, the untimely, the inevitable happened! I had forgotten about the crack across the path. I missed a step and twisted my left ankle in an effort to keep my balance!
I was more in shock rather than in pain. With J’s help, I even managed to reach the car with only a slight limp. However, as the minutes and hours went by, my leg became red and swollen, and the pain got worse and worse. By the time I reached home three hours later, I was almost crawling into the house! In retrospect, I was very lucky that my foot didn’t get in between the crack. The situation could have been a lot more severe!
I didn’t tell my family what had happened. I wasn’t too keen on the idea of having my leg treated by a TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) practitioner, commonly known as a singseh. However, you can’t keep a sprained ankle under wraps for long and when my husband found out, he chided me for not going to see a “singseh” immediately, citing that the longer I delayed, the longer it would take to heal.
I said something about being skeptical about the singseh’s method of treatment, preferring to allow time for the ankle to heal on its own.
My protests at self-healing went unheeded. My husband immediately made some phone calls calls to find out if anyone could recommend a good singseh. Just when the general consensus pointed to an old singseh who had treated me some decades ago for the same injury, I received happy news!
One of my husband’s friends told him that nowadays, Western-trained doctors are as good as singsehs in treating sprains. It is no longer a ‘must’ anymore to visit a singseh for my ankle. Awesome!
So first thing the next day, I visited an orthopaedic and trauma clinic. Cost me about six times more than what I would have paid the singseh, but I didn’t mind. Anything is better than having the singseh massaging my swollen ankle, applying extra pressure on the swollen parts and gathering his inner chi to push my injured foot back to its correct position with a piercing “Eeee“!
So, while making sure my ankle is well-rested and taking on the housework, you now know why I haven’t posted anything for some time!