04 June 2006

Sea Urchins are not as warm and cuddly as you might think

And other useful lessons from Greece. I knew this in the theoretical, but now I know it in a very concrete, personal way. Whilst swimming in the Aegean Sea, I experienced an inadvertent encounter with a member of the class Echinoidea. To wit, I kicked one while treading water.


The above is a photo of my left big toe after a fellow traveler (who happened to be a nurse) had extracted about twenty spines from where they had embedded deep into the flesh. She used my own medical kit that I had brought along to use on other people. Not me. Oh, the irony. And the agony. The urchin encounter was painful but brief, and the resultant pain was but a dull ache. But there's nothing like half an hour of cold hard steel lancing into live tissue to carpe your diem. I should have used my lidocaine to perform a digital block, but I didn't anticipate the sublime intensity of the forthcoming pain, and I am a bit of a wuss, so I am not sure if I could have injected myself anyway.

Oh well, better half an hour of exquisite raw sensory torture than a suppurating infection and subsequent amputation, I always say!

Other than that (and the fact that the airline managed to lose our luggage both ways), the trip was lovely. We spent two lovely weeks sailing through the Dodecanese Islands off of the coast of Turkey, with a few days of stamping though various and sundry ruins in Athens and on the Peloponnese. Turns out they have rather a lot of those. I had fourteen blissful days of no email, pager, cell phone, TV, newspaper, and to my great surprise, I missed them not at all. I did miss The Boys, but only a bit (and The Wife missed them about as much as I missed my pager). I learned to speak enough Greek to get by, provided the Greek person to whom I was speaking also spoke excellent English. I managed to gain five pounds on my version of the Mediterranean diet (which contains rather more Fried Cheese than the other Med. diet), and have discovered a deep love for Greek food. I need to see if I can get decent dolmades anywhere herabouts. We drank a fair amount and laughed a lot. I got reacquainted with The Wife and discovered that I she is actually good company. I'll post some photos one I recover from the physiologic shock of re-entry into the real world.

That may be never.

Also, I should put in a plug for the sailing outfit we went with. They were terrific on every level. Wonderful, all-included, with a great knowledge of the islands, and a heck of a lot of fun. If you're ever inclined to go sail the mediterranean, check out the nice folks at Seascape.

7 comments:

Shroom-Monkey said...

Wow, that is some good stuff. Could you please continue to get hurt and write about it, that really made my day!

Shroom-Monkey said...

Wow, that is some good stuff. Could you please continue to get hurt and write about it, that really made my day!

Shroom-Monkey said...

Wow, that is some good stuff. Could you please continue to get hurt and write about it, that really made my day!

Shroom-Monkey said...

Wow, that is some good stuff. Could you please continue to get hurt and write about it, that really made my day!

Annaliese said...

If you're in Seattle - this place has pretty good dolmades:

Panos Kleftiko
http://tciworld.com/kleftiko/

And Greek food in general, even though it doesn't look like it from outside.

dr peg said...

OK, shroom monkey, we get your point! Settle down already!

Shadowfax - You're a brave person to even THINK of doing your own digital block. Nice toes, too.

;)

I buy dolmas, or dolmades, in a can, believe it or not, at a local gas station run by a middle eastern family. They also sell feta cheese and calamata olives in bulk for the best price around.

Oh, and they also sell gas.

Welcome back.

Typical Recent Grad said...

That looks severely painful. Reminds me of a time my mom got stung by a jellyfish (a lot of us probably have those stories), and she ran out of the water screaming at my brother and I to get out of the water immediately. Of course, we had no idea what was going on so we just looked at her funny until she fell to the sand.

... She was okay, though.

Your trip sounds amazing, and I'll be back to read more :)