2oceansvibe Character, Gigi O’Connor (The Interior Decorator) recently returned from a harrowing (yet absolutely hilarious) holiday in Tofu, Mozambique. Those of you who know The Interior Decorator will be keenly aware that roughing it is not exactly in her top five pasttimes. Her blog, Dominico House, and line of work suggests that Gigi enjoys the finer things in life, which her friends will confirm is spot on.
But she also seems to imagine herself as someone with hidden talents, including surfing..
You’ll have a Gigi in your group of friends (or least someone who has never had stitches, let alone by a vet in Mozambique). Imagine this happening to her..
Tofu Beach- Mozambique
This is Gigi’s story (warning, article includes some graphic shots of her pip):
On a very ordinary, perfectly pleasant holiday day, I was brought back down to Earth very suddenly and unexpectedly. The arguing started with the boards. The ‘girls’ were planning our big surf day excursion. We had to choose and hire our surf boards for the day. In true Mozambique style we could pay either for a half day fee(3 hrs) or a full day(4hrs) Myself, being overexcited and overly confident I did NOT want to share my board and I wanted a FULL day. “but you can’t surf solidly for four hours!” they chimed. “Oh but I can and I will” I cried. The waves were a gentle fun two foot. I picked the biggest long board I could see. 7 foot 11, I think. I first realised that maybe my choice was not ideal when I battled to carry it down to the water.
Then after nearly using my ‘full’ day of surfing I was having a mini break on the beach, I decided to really push my luck. We were being collected in about an hour and the thought occurred to me that I really should make the most of this heavenly day. Katia, poor thing got dragged into my ‘over doing it’ We decided one last surf for the road. A really perfect looking wave came our way and having the entire ocean to ourselves at this point, we thought what fun to take it together. Fun it was, until I must have been standing too close to the front of my board and it nose dived. No prob, I know the nose dive well and it is my worst, but bearable. I hadn’t banked on nose diving and THEN having the board pop up behind me to come down with its full LONG board weight and the fin casually sliding through my scalpl. No, I had not imagined that one. Again, it was not the first time I have had my board hit my head, somehow this time felt different. At first I was surprised I was conscious, wow, I must be quite tough. I’m sure I should be passed out right now. Then, oh boring, the world’s worst headache. I put my head up to rub my head to dull the pain. My heart leapt when I saw my hand was smeared with blood. “Katia, look I’m bleeding” We laughed at this point as the blood had obviously not gathered momentum yet. Just a scratch but lets go in anyway.
By the time I reached the shore, the blood had certainly started momentum and was now galloping out of my head. I was bathed in red. I still couldn’t comprehend the situation. I kept telling myself that heads always bleed so excessively and that it can’t be THAT bad. Don’t overact, it will be a scratch and then it will be embarrassing! We plastered a sarong to my head and called our pick up. I tried to ignore the locals leaving their market stalls to come and see the commotion, which apparently to my horror was me!
Back at the lodge there was lots of taking turns to inspect the wound. My now seriously matted hair was hiding the cut, no one could really see the damage. I heard someone say it may need a stitch. However, the good news was that I was not to panic, they had called the vet. At this stage I was happy with the vet. He would come here and it would all be very relaxing. Yes, I was loving the vet.
Sorry, the vet can’t come, BUT what fun we will take you down to the dive school. There’s a girl there who’s sister is a doctor and has shown her how to do stitches. Hooray, the dive centre it is. At least they kept on assuring me, you don’t have to go to hospital. They use horse hair for stitches! Yes, I was so happy, I don’t want to go to hospital and have horse hair.
“Oh look, it a very nice looking girl. And we’re not at the hospital” Michelle reassured me. Fine. “We don’t have any anesthetic, but don’t worry we have whiskey” the very nice looking girl said. Mmmmmmmm
I’ve never had stitches before, how bad can it be. Okay whiskey for me. Tequila for Katia and Michelle. Wow this dive school is fun. So the nice girl also got to have a Polish assistant who had obviously studied ‘Grey’s anatomy’ I made his day apparently. He loved his task of handing me whiskey shots with surgical gloved hands under my hair – I was lying face down along a demonstration bench in the audiovisual room. He also found it a big priority to get all the ‘surgical’ terms absolutely spot on. “What are they doing now” became my mantra. “They are dabbing the wound” Katia explained “NO! we are swabbing” retorted the Pole. And so it went on for what felt like at least three episodes of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’. Okay, I am feeling a lot of stalling and a lot of silence. It seems that the more of my hair she cuts away the quieter the room is getting. Are Katia and Michelle very drunk? It’s hard to gage as I’m completely smashed. Have they gotten carried away, are they performing brain surgery? Then a new voice “we’re out of here” What?! What was that? It was Nick who had taken us to the dive centre. He had apparently just walked in the room and seen my freshly revealed fully extended gash. We’re going to Inhambane.
Nooooooooooo! You promised that I didn’t have to go to hospital.That’s where they use horse hair!! I said horse hair!!! But by the sombre look on Katia and Michelle’s faces my instincts told me to go with it. Don’t worry we will go to the PRIVATE clinic where there will be a very nice doctor. Alright, the doctor sounds nice. As we approached the very nice and very dimly lit and closed clinic my whiskey high started to slip. Don’t worry we will phone the very nice doctor and he will meet us at the GOVERNMENT hospital. Breathe, breathe, okay he will meet us. Fine. Then tons of loud shouting in Portuguese from Nick on his cell phone. Something something something Doktorrrrrr Rrrrrrrrené? Louder somethings and then oh hooray nothing! Doctor Rene would not be coming. Oh no, my whiskey high has been replaced with the worst hangover and Looser complex of ALL TIME. I really want Doktorrrrrr Rrrrené I sobbed. But I was definitely not getting no Doctor René, I was getting horse hair instead.
Once again it seemed that the circus had arrived to town. Us. At first I was confused as to why the 80 or so people in the waiting room were staring at us. Then I remembered, ah, we were firstly, still in our bikinis at eight at night. I at least was clutching something to me but had stripped poor Michelle of her sarong as it was one with my head. Her string bikini was out of place in this bleak surrounding to say the least! Secondly, we were the only white faces and thirdly, I was covered in blood. I must say that I was the worst casualty in there. Slightly odd that.
There are no doctors on duty from what we could make out. No one can speak a word of English. We are ushered into a tiny cell type room, where it is unbearable hot. I have a male nurse another first for me, who is going to inspect my head. He starts shaving my head with a blade, during which we experience the occasional power cut! Katia, yelled for him to stop during the black outs, which I’m not entirely sure he did if you see my new hairdo! He is very at ease with the shaving. He even has his cell phone ringing a hip hop tune we were unfamiliar with. We were never sure if his phone was actually ringing or if he had put it on as background music like they do in ‘Nip Tuck’ At this stage I was OVER IT and dying for someone, anyone at this stage to stitch me up! There is lots of coming and going and if I hear ONE more person say “mucho grande” I’m going to freak out completely!!! The atmosphere is getting tenser and tenser. I am sent for x rays (a whole new level of stress that I had not considered) Katia in absolute desperation realised she could understand Portuguese. That was the weirdest thing. Thank goodness though, as I would still not know the outcome of my x rays today! Then just as I could take it no more and was about to slip into delirium forever the hip hopping nurse FINALLY did my stitches. As you can see they aren’t neat or pretty, but I was so so happy it was OVER. Nine stitches in total .That translates into 20 normal size stitches.I don’t think its horse hair, more like flex cord. Home Time. The best feeling ever.
Pretty much the same as fixing a Golden Labrador
Your basic fuckshow
Howz your pip?
Two more days in Mozambique and I could return the now ‘pushing it’ luxurious medi clinic. Oh how I now worshipped medi clinic. Sunday flight, LAM airline. 3:30pm flight direct from Inhambane to Johannesburg. ETA 5:30pm . What the Mozambiquean airline omitted to say that ACTUALLY we would be stopping off and disembarking at Vilanculos AND Maputo. Baring in mind Vilanculos is actually further away from Jhb than Inhambane. Amazing. We think that maybe one person got off at Vilanculos. This granted the entire plane to disembark with all their belongings. Then when you get back on you discover that someone else is in your original seat and the air stewards have changed the vibe to ‘free seating’ The same happened at Maputo, except this time we got off and never got back on. (well for a long time anyway) They started to give us all ‘transit’ cards when we got off the plane, but then ran out of cards so gave that security up. Then the twenty minute stop over turned into three hours. Finally, when they were ready for us we had to queue and give in our ‘transit’ cards to get back onto the plane. I was of course the half that never got the transit card! That was the closest to murder I had ever got to. The small child in front of me waving her transit card would have been easy to take out. Thank goodness there was no need for that, before I could strategise the demise of the toddler I was being pushed in what now appeared to be a stampede. Yes, we stampeded the official and ran onto the run way and boarded the plane. Everyone was really getting into the spirit of things. The ‘free seating’ helped with this man on man, kill or be killed reality.We all glared at eachother and tried to work out how who and what was the next couple getting from Johannesburg to Cape Town. Who was our competition. We had all missed our connecting flights by at least two hours.My mother, having spent the last two days on heavy tranquilisers would be on a ventilator by now I’m sure.
Touch down, the final leg of the ‘Amazing Race’ was coming to an end. There was strong competition but Katia and I were ruthless. Only one flight left out of Jhb. The 9pm. We had an advantage, I was injured. Ha ha. We revealed my bandaged head and were whisked off by two very excited airport officials. ‘The smug couple’ saw an in and followed us like a car checkily chasing an ambulance. We tried to loose them but he was relentless. We ran from desk to desk to desk – One Time, no more seats, Kalula, no more flights, SAA, gates already closed, Mango, ticket office shut!! We ran from desk to desk with no luck. It was the end we had failed. Luckily no one got a seat – even the ‘smug couple’ thank goodness. We would be staying the night at the airport hotel.
Ian collected me the next morning. I think he had second thoughts when seeing me. I looked like I’d been back packing for two years at the very least. What remained of my hair was in one matted blood stained thick dreadlock. My bandage had slid into a comfortable cone head and I was clutching to my ‘has been’ yoga mat. It was not a good look AT ALL.
When I heard the story I was also informed that Gigi was still in shock and experiencing forms of “trauma.” I told her that writing it out would do her the world of good.
I think she did a good job.
Well done, angel – now you are cleansed!
[imagesource:instagram/gregmallett] Congratulations are in order for Princess Diana’s...
[imagesource:pexels] Former Head Boy Kidnapped Just Hou...
[imagesource:jankopriva] Somewhere in your city, there are people experiencing gratific...
[imagesource:wikimediacommons] There's honestly so much to unpack in this short but inc...
[imagesource:facebook/amorvittone] It's been six years since the country shared Amor an...