How I nearly died (and the kindness of strangers)

The title above is obviously (maybe not) hyperbolic, but still.

I don’t think I’ve ever posted about this before, and it just occurred to me that I should because I truly feel it is something of huge magnitude. And I had to see people in a whole new light at the end of it all, when the dust had finally settled.

Here’s the backstory: I was feeling particularly down one night – I remember being unbearably frustrated yet passive but still restless – and all I wanted to do then was to run the feelings off. It was too late then to head to my usual running route – which is the track in between the canal, some strangely pretty tall trees and condominiums, and which required a fifteen minute brisk walk from my house – by then, so I forced myself to bed and decided to run the next morning instead.

When I awoke the jittery feelings seemed to have multiplied so I hurried to change… and here’s the thing. I knew not to run on an empty stomach. So I hastily made myself a mug of Milo and gulped down about a fourth of it. Then I grabbed a $2 note to purchase a nice drink at the end of my run, grasped it between my skin & shorts (Yeah I’m one of those gross people), wrung a towel at the back of my neck, plugged in my music and left my phone at home. The same thing I did every time.

So I started jogging. Everything was great – wind was fresh, the sun had just risen and casted a warm glow around the place and reflected upon the still waters of the canal. It was nice and quiet – save for the chirping of birds and the occasional running steps of other early morning joggers like myself. I think I ran close to 1.5km before it happened.

I started to get major stomach cramps which made it literally impossible to continue running. So I slowed to a walk and (thankfully) there were a few benches ahead so I gritted my teeth and walked to them. And then all of a sudden my vision clouded – slowly at first when white spots emerged in front of me, then suddenly the only matter I could see was white. Obviously I panicked, because I was confused and scared and the fact I HAD NO PHONE WITH ME and there was NOBODY in the immediate vicinity except for the condo residents in their homes and I could hardly shout to them could I? So I lay down on the bench and shut my eyes for awhile.

Then I opened my eyes again and THANKFULLY my vision went back to normal. The cramps were still killing me so I decided I had no choice but to walk the distance home. But before I even made it to the next lamp post which was approximately just 2 metres away, my vision clouded AGAIN and this time, getting more frantic with every passing second, I scurried to my bench and lay down and closed my eyes, nursing the cramps and wallowing in self-pity. (Haha)

I think I blacked out for awhile because when I opened my eyes the sky and the sun looked a little bit different, paler in hues but startlingly brighter in colour. My vision was okay but the cramps was indescribably painful which was probably why I desperately staggered to this passing Japanese couple (with the lady wearing a huge sunhat) who were brisk walking, asking for a phone. Turns out they didn’t possess one and the short journey made my vision cloud and my stomach hurt even more, so wordlessly (I’m so rude) I went back to my solace and lay down again.

But enter my first two saviours. They were obviously worried- seeing how I was pathetically lying there with my eyes closed and with hands on my stomach- they (wonderfully) asked around for a phone for me. Enter my next saviour – this nice old man who presented me with his gloriously archaic colourless Nokia phone. I dialled my mom’s number and told her about my very dignified present state by the canal. She said she and Papa would come IMMEDIATELY (thanks guys) and meanwhile I just sit there and remain pathetically dignified and classy.

I thanked the old man and resumed my lame position. I emphasise that the cramps were extremely extremely very really painful. But thank God he didn’t leave me there because the intensity of the pain was increasing. He gestured to a passing jogger -ENTER YET ANOTHER SAVIOUR – a girl perhaps only a couple of years older than me, donned in an Singapore Polytechnic t-shirt, sported a cool cropped hairstyle and wanted to be known as MJ… to help me out.

MJ took care of me. I couldn’t talk to her at all because of the pain but I managed to get out that I thought I required the lavatory and that my parents were coming to get me. She said her condo was really far from where we were so I let out a sob in my heart. But we walked – her holding me protectively while I tried not to die as my vision clouded again, until we saw a great couple, MY LAST TWO SAVIOURS OF THE DAY, just exiting their condo, which led MJ to tell them of my great and wonderful situation which then in turn made them lead me into their condo.

They called my parents and told them I was here, safe. The lady made me a tumbler filled with piping hot Milo, which I downed (more than a fourth of it this time) and brought buttered biscuits. Nice. I felt my strength come back and my vision clear, and stomach cramps recede. Then finally my parents came, looking worried sick. We thanked all of them and the nice man offered to drive my family back home..

They’re amazing, these people. How they were so willing to go all the way to help a silly girl who didn’t eat enough in the morning which caused her to nearly faint when she went for her run. How generous they were of their time and aid and support. It really changed my perspective of the current society we are all in – where people are merely just passive, detached bystanders. Thank you so much. Thank you for being kind.

In other news I just got back from Bangkok and I feel the need to write about what I bought there. Just because.

This book I picked out from the duty free Times bookstore! I read nine chapters on the plane and it is hilarious and wonderful and made me snigger because it is so amazingly ironic and sardonic. I can’t wait to get back to it after writing this post.
My new purchases. I’ve never bought so many clothes at one go in my entire life. But yea I’m quite happy even though it’s so ridiculously excessive, haha. In there (but buried under other clothes) is a dress I intended for my prom (HAHAHAHA) because I really liked it and all but we’ll see, we’ll see. I plan my future well.
Okay I was wearing a shirt that I bought but wasn’t in the pile. Not my usual style BUT I LIKE IT.
And the rainy street of BKK.
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