"Do you know what the worst part about this is?" I said last night to Mr Bea, who (bless him) was still talking to me despite my injury-induced foul temper, some of which had been taken out on him directly*.

"What's that?"

"I'm going to get a scar across the top joint of my right, middle finger, where the skin has actually melted off exposing this raw, pink tissue underneath, and whenever someone asks me how I did it I'm going to have to say, 'Well, I was making coffee**,' and they'll say, 'Yes...?' and it'll be, like, 'No, that's it. There's no story.' Fuck. Another forty-eight hours and I could've at least made some lame joke about it being an old injury from 'Nam."

Because, you see, that's where we're off to tomorrow morning. Vietnam. But let me back up a little first.

My deed for the week was giving money to buskers, because it's not a grand living, some of them are really quite good, and it's so easy to walk on by. Besides which, approximately two thirds of the buskers in Singapore (according to my one-woman survey) are disabled and therefore have limited employment opportunities. There was some moral wrangling over whether giving money to bad buskers was actually the opposite of a good deed, but in the end I returned to the simple philosophy which will never make me a big wheel in welfare and charity funds allocation: spend less time worrying about where the money's going. Sprinkle it widely. Some of it will land in the right place.

I may post next Thursday, or not. I may read a little, or not. I hope you stay well while I'm away. I'll be reading So Close and thinking of you all the while***.

Baby Blues sent me a very nice card, along with the travelling books, and it was purchased from Hands on Manila - an organisation dedicated to "alleviating poverty through income-generating projects". As of the time of card printing, HOM volunteers had devoted 417 hours in five different skills sessions. Thanks Baby Blues! I got a real buzz. Plus: you guys have handwriting. You do exist!

And I want to give a shout-out to Mel, who has cross-stitched for several charitable quilting projects in the past. This time it's for the Australian Version of Cole's Quilts, for a girl named Michelle. She is 16 and has maltese terriers so Mel is stitching a maltese terrier. The quilts are for critically ill children.


*The rest - indirectly.

**I was using a metal stovetop coffee maker. I managed to melt some skin off one finger, blister a couple of others, and give myself a good scalding at the same time.

***I'll be reading For Whom The Bell Tolls as well, which will no doubt also remind me of infertility, although I'll have to work harder to draw the connection. I wonder how Hemmingway would sound as an infertility blogger?

"Que va," I said to myself, "that my period should arrive."
"It will."
"But that it should arrive soon. It hast been too long."
"It will arrive," I repeated, and stood, running my fingers absently against the contours of my breasts. There had been slight spotting in the week before last, but nothing which would indicate a full flow. I started to curse in a flood of obscene invective that rolled around me like the hot white water splashing down from the sudden eruption of a geyser.
"I obsenity in the milk of thy 'soon-ness'..."


Vee said...

Have a fantastic trip ! And enjoy your reading.

Patience said...

Enjoy Vietnam, my sil has been there recently and absolutely loved it! x

Rachel Inbar said...

Enjoy Vietnam! I hope the pain is subsiding :-(

Samantha said...

Have a great trip and continue your good deeds! Hope your hand is feeling better!

TeamWinks said...

Wish I'd fit in your suitcase! Enjoy and be safe!

Beagle said...

Have a WONDERFUL time!!

Baby Blues said...

We've been planning Vietnam and Cambodia. Sounds fun! Let me know the must-sees. Don't forget to post photos.

Enjoy the books. I read each book in one sitting. I got it after my last BFN, so I gobbled it up and smudged some pages with tears.

Matthew M. F. Miller said...

WOW! What an amazing adventure - please check in with photos if possible.

And be really, really safe - like condom safe, you hear?

Hopeful Mother said...

Enjoy your trip. I still think you should use "Vietnam" as your excuse for the burn... it is much more interesting, and segues nicely into talking about your trip!

p.s. Hope the hand is healing - sounds painful!

Lut C. said...

A trip! Sounds great! Enjoy your time away.

Sprinkle money, I need to remember that.

projgen said...

ouch, poor you! Heal well and have a great trip.

And very nice Hemingway homage, btw. It's kind of making me wish someone would re-write EH with an infertility theme....

Carly said...

Oh God you're funny Bea. What would we do without you?!
Have a great time in Nam. If you'll remember, my Mum not long came back from there (March) & she had a wonderful time - I'm sure you will too.
Keep a look out for at the airport for a donation bin (it sort of looks like a silver bowl with a clear dome over it) that says "donations for especially difficult children". You'll get a laugh from it!


My Reality said...

Have a great trip and have someone make your coffee for you!

GLouise said...

Sorry to hear about your poor hand!

Have a fabulous time in VN! One of my co-workers (based in Singapore actually) sent me some gorgeous photos she'd taken while on a tour of Vietnam. Very jealous!

The Momcaster said...

oww! your poor hand. i have a hyper trophic scar on my left pinky from when i was nine and was pounding a frozen tetra pack of juice with the pair of scissors in the hopes that the ice would melt/get crushed faster. the blades swung and cut off a decent chunk of skin. eeeew!!

have a great trip. i hear vietnam is beautiful. be sure to visit the viet cong underground tunnels.

Mary Ellen and Steve said...

Have a great trip!!

Reproductive Jeans said...

OOo have a good trip! Hope your hand is better=)

The Momcaster said...

hi bea!

fyi, i tagged you for a new q & a that's going around. look forward to reading your answers!

The Town Criers said...

Awaiting pictures and stories from Vietnam. Hope it was a great trip.

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