I remember the doctor brushing the sand away from my backside, as I lay in the foyer. His needle at the ready. It was probably one of the most embarrassing experiences of my life and all over a miscalculation of a stupid jump!
My memories of Turkey are limited but mostly tinged with amusement. There are two particular stories that stand out, but one triumphs the other.
It was around 2003 and we were staying the Perili Bay Resort in Datca on Turkey’s coast. Mom and I both have sailing experience and our resort was part of Sunsail, who were seen at the time as sailing holiday experts. I was 13 and had recently gotten my Intermediate Small-Boat Sailing certificate (which I still have on my CV today!).
Every day we were greeted with the sparkling blue water and gentle waves. We were in a tourist bubble, away from the bustle and it was heavenly warm.
The day of the “incident”, we had spent the day skippering a yacht with friends, sailing up the Turkey coast looking for somewhere to lunch. Incidentally and amusingly too, we didn’t have a dinghy so we had to anchor the yacht away from the shore and swim in carrying our personal belongings above our heads. Spot the tourists, anyone?
Overall, though, we had made good work with our yachting skills. Mom worked away with the “proper” adults, and I expertly avoided getting hit by the boom with my friends.
But feeling overly confident after our day out at sea, when we arrived back to Perili, I stupidly felt that I had to make a triumphant exit to land. After all, wasn’t yachting all about looking cool? My 13-year-old self certainly thought so.
And so: I jumped.
In slow motion, my confidence was shattered. My leg slipped and dragged up the side of the jetty, tearing the skin as I pulled myself up the wooden side. I emitted a noise that sounded oddly like an injured seal and manoeuvred so I ended up facing the yacht.
I wailed like a baby.
Worried that I might get some sort of infection, the doctor was called immediately to the resort to administer a tetanus shot. My “cool meter” was tragically spiralling into the gutter by this stage.
I kept wailing.
With not a word of English, he indicated for me to lie across one of the couches in the lobby. Clearing the sand away from my swimming togs, I immediately cringed.
Surely he wasn’t going to inject me here?!
I glanced briefly around at Mom who was equally embarrassed and tried to reassure myself that I probably wouldn’t see these people ever again.
With swift movement, the needle was in and out of my backside. And as quickly as he arrived, the doctor vanished.
In the days that followed, I kept my eye out for any suspicious looking opportunities to look cool. My jumping antics were kept to a minimum. I instead focused on something clearly more important: the cute boy Simon from the UK. I had learned my lesson.
While this is a memory that still makes me blush over 13 years later, I can’t help but let a chuckle escape every time I recall it.
Because after all, how many people can say they got an injection in the arse in a hotel lobby?!