Today, I am reminiscing on a childhood passion. As a 10-year kid, I loved roller skating. I can't remember how we got the skates but we had 3 pairs. These were first generation skates - the parts were mostly made of metal, including the wheels (rightfully called rollers). The only parts that were not metal were the leather straps used to fasten the ankles to the skates. One very famous manufacturer of roller skates then was Winchester which I believe was either a US or UK company. I heard it later progressed to making weapons:
The skates were extendable to fit almost all feet sizes.
Although I lived in an SIT flat and not a kampong, I was resourceful enough to find space to skate. There was a 50-m access corridor linking the 10 flats on each floor. This corridor did not belong to us but I used it like my very own skate park almost daily. Because the rollers were made of metal, the skates made a roaring sound on the go, with a decibel level that could rival an approaching fighter jet plane. Whenever I encroached upon the area outside a neighbour's flat which always had an elderly Indian man resting inside, his daughter Mary would always come to the door to stare at me. If that didn't work, she would shout at me, "Go away. Don't come this side. People want to rest." After that, I would stop just before her door and then turn back, effectively shortening a useable 50-m long corridor to a mere 30-m one.
Of course, when you first learn skating, it is inevitable that you will fall a few times. But the learning is in the falling. Children recover very fast and are not deterred by a few falls.
Maybe they have a short memory.
So about 2 weeks ago, after
we can't stand the constant prodding of a mutual friend and colleague MGC, Chris' and my resistance finally crumbled. Accompanied by MGC, we went to Peninsula Shopping Centre during lunchtime to buy ourselves a brand new pair of in-line skates each. Thanks to our patronage, the cash register at the shop registered an additional sale of $500 plus that day. To make the sport more challenging, the modern skates have all 4 rollers in a line, hence the name "in-line skates".
On 13 Oct 06 Fri, I had an hour to while away so I went to East Coast Park and put on my new skates for its maiden ride:
Along the way, I lost my balance and fell two times. Nary suffering a scratch even though I was not wearing any protective guard, I got up and continued skating.
Friday evening went past peacefully and Saturday was also uneventful. But on Sunday, my left ankle started to swell and it felt extremely painful when I walked. On Monday, I consulted a GP
In my opinion, the Chinese traumatologist or chiropractor is even more fearful than the dentist. He would rub, pull, bend and twist your ankle any which way he likes, without any care for your cold sweat, screams, squirms and pleas. Anyway I survived that too. At $20, I call it cheap torture. It is indeed a traumatic experience visiting a traumatologist.
Today my ankle is still swollen and in bandage:
Notice what a nice right foot I have.
Chris advised me to visit the A & E department of the CGH to get my ankle x-rayed. "You won't know if you've got a hairline crack until you've had an x-ray done", he said.
He has a way of making people worry. He also said that he would be blogging about my experience. Chris certainly has a way to build his blog on other people's miseries, doesn't he?. In any case, I am putting up my own post on this. There is nothing like hearing it from the monkey's horse's mouth.
Although like Chun See, I am also not superstitious but I can't help but begin to wonder whether choosing to skate on Friday the 13th had anything to do with my falls and my sprained ankle. Still, skating is the other "s" passion that I'll never fall out of, literally. (No prizes for guessing what the other "s" passion is.) It is as if by premonition that I have commented on Chun See's blog earlier that skating can be a health hazard if you are not careful.
I also don't care if Chris decides to find another skating coach. But he better buy that helmet that I have been urging him to. That is because the only way to learn skating is by falling as I have explained and demonstrated. He may think that he has a thick skull but I don't want him to find out the hard way that the floor is actually a lot harder.