Up, breakfast, finish packing and get ready to go. Another part of our adventure ends to day. And for every ending there’s a new beginning.
We paid our hotel bill last night and are good to go when the clock turns ten. We load our oversized luggage into the taxi and set course for the hospital. I say oversized because the boxing gloves and shin pads trashed up a lot of room, even though they don’t weigh all that much. We will send then home after Mandirigma camp to make sure we can get on the plane to Bangkok without paying for excess baggage.
At the hospital we are greeted and Katja gets a kind of membership card. We don’t really know what to do with it, but put it in the wallet.
We get called in almost thirty minutes ahead of our appointment and it’s back to the same bed. Strip down and face down on the bed.
There’s another doctor today and this one is a younger female. She’s not that fluent in English, but makes herself understood.
She unwrap the wound and looks a bit disapproving at it. Then she goes to work without any anaesthetic. She uses a cotton bud dipped in a fluid to poke around inside the crater and remove puss. This hurts. A lot. It’s all over in a couple of minutes, but I would think it lasted an hour for Katja.
After the procedure we got asked to return tomorrow for wound cleaning. That ain’t happening as we’ll be in Krabi then. We need to figure out where to go in Krabi, how to get there and when. But that’s no trouble.
We try to ask the questions we’ve piled up since yesterday. Between five nurses and a doctor we get a couple of the answered.
- No swimming!
- Clean twice a day.
- Not contagious.
- If it comes back go initially to hospital to get antibiotics.
On the more complex questions they just stared blankly at us. Like: “Would this have happened in Norway, our is it a situation because of our travels?” Blank, blank, blank.
The driver takes us to the bus station and we get a hug and a request to return to the hotel. He’s the grand old man of the place and is the one that let us participate in offering to the monks on Songkran. We tell him that should we ever return to train here again we would stay at Signature. It’s been a great place and given us peace and quiet.
Right now we’re on the bus waiting for departure. Wrapping up our experience here in Phuket would be something like this:
– It’s a lot if good places to train around here
– Choose wisely when you pick a gym. The larger are not necessarily the best
– Pick a hotel with a pool and not next to a gym. You will have more quiet time that way
– Private lessons are good, but do try different trainers if you don’t click with the first one
– Drink enough water
– Disinfect your gear
– Train hard, fight easy
For us it’s been a study in keeping our guard up and a different set of footwork. As Muay Thai is a sport, however brutal, it makes for movements and stands not directly applicable for self defence.
The BJJ training have given us a taste of something different that we might pursue further. We’ll see about that upon our return to Norway.
The last week and a half has been filled with infections and problems. Not really what we hoped would be the end of these weeks of training. A lot of people are training in a not so big environment and that makes for trouble if one, just one, is not taking personal and gear hygiene seriously enough.
The bus is air conditioned and the seats are comfortable. It’s even seat belts here. We have iPads with film and kindles with books. We can make three hours pass easily.
The bus ride is mostly uneventful except for when a car change lane in front of us in 80-90 km/h. Our driver swerved in and out of our lane, into the oncoming traffic and back into our lane. Luckily it went without any accident, but damn that was close.
We got a taxi from the Krabi bus station to the hotel and checked in. We briefly saw Johan Skålberg, the camp lead instructor, moving through between appointments and got to say hello.
We unpacked before heading out to get water and food. Here we met a couple of the Australian guys Nev and Dan, and of course Beki. We registered for the camp, informed of Katja’s no bathing and got the welcome package and our sticks. Camp starts tomorrow, training stays today. We hurry out to get food and water.
The camp unofficially opens with information, presentation of the trainers and a pledge of “giving your best all the time.” More on that in a minute. The we proceeded outdoor and started training.
Mandirigma camp is not about fancy moves and high kicks, it’s about grinding the stone on the basic workable moves. We played with basic moves with double sticks and changed attitudes and included kicks. After what I guess was an hour of this we changed and got into the pool. Oh, you thought for a relaxing chill? Get serious! Teams of three did a routine where one was always swimming while the two others did plank and water push ups at either end of the pool. If you didn’t give it your best while swimming the two others would do needlessly many reps. That’s what the pledge is about, give it your best all the time. Then the team is stronger and you all progress.
Right now I’m drinking a Heineken in the pool bar before we head out for dinner. We will do the morning run tomorrow, and after breakfast we’ll go to the hospital in the break before Muay Thai.
We talk to Heikki and on his idea borrow his motorbike and drive into town to check out the medical clinics closer to our hotel. What a great idea. I had to go a round with myself as I have a strict no drink and drive policy, but the one beer is manageable.
We drive down a along the beach and on the second place we stop Katja get to meet the doctor and we make an appointment for tomorrow. This should give us time to get back to the hotel, change and still make it in time for the bus to the Muay Thai session tomorrow.
We get thai dinner in town while we’re there. Live music plays white we eat and it’s quite good. Both the food and the music. We drive back and turn in. Guess tomorrow’s gonna be hard enough even with enough sleep.
“I walked to work. I paced up and down the bus looking for a seat. Next time I walk to work I’m getting on my treadmill.”
― Jarod Kintz, Xazaqazax