YOAO. You Only Ankle Once.
There have been so many events in my life that I’ve missed blogging about and have since forgotten the small details that make up these events, so I realise that unless I blog about it when it happens, it goes undocumented. And anyone who knows me knows that I love documenting. There’s still a trip to Copenhagen and Lithuania, and a few Amsterdam trips undocumented. And all my art residency pics.
So anyway, I guess what better time to blog than when I can’t walk, right? Okay, yosh, let’s get back to Sapporo, and the YOAO story.
I took an early flight to Sapporo to go and hang out with Kay. We had such an awesome day and even better night. Kay knows the best spots (you should see his google maps for Tokyo! Almost every piece of land covered in a colour-coded pin), so naturally we ended up at super popular lamb yakiniku restaurant for dinner. Daruma honten has been operating since 1954 and was sooooo delicious. Even the 30 minutes wait line was fun?! It started snowing as we were walking back to our hotel with our Sapporo Classics in hand and it was so incredibly fun and beautiful. We were chatting and laughing, taking videos and even FaceTiming Kay’s mum in Berlin.
When we got back to the hotel we did a spot of dancing to Shindy - Affalterbach (which has now become the theme song to this whole YOAO story) before we noticed the snow seemed to be getting heavier. We opened the window and giant snowflakes started blowing into the room. It was chotto freezing but I couldn’t help hanging over the window ledge to let the snowflakes fall over me and I was filled with soooo much joy from the magic of snow. And because Kay is such a dreamboat and could see how much I wanted to be walking around in that pretty snow, before long we were outside in the park that our hotel overlooked.
Everything was perfect. We had the most fun night, delicious food, fun chats, I’d just picked up a new iphone and was all prepped to take super cute snow photos. Looking back on my iphone gallery from the night there are so many cute snow pics and there’s a video of me laughing hysterically as Kay slipped. Karma man, it’s a bitch! Hold up, let’s go back to the story of this fun park walk.
So we are walking through the park. I was taking a heap of photos. Kay was leading the way and I was following the scent of his rolled tobacco and the sound of his German conversations. The warm pink glow of the sky from the artificial park lights was mesmerising. And then there was that beautiful almost-silence of snow falling.
Most of the people closest to me in my life are smokers so the scent of tobacco and watching the motions of people smoking is so comforting to me. And Kay is pretty much the master of making you want to start up. He pretty much makes anything look cool. He sat on a tree stump and lit up while I filmed it for instagram stories. (You can still find all of this night on my YOAO highlight). Kay glances up to exhale, before ‘Doei’ and stood up out of frame. We met in Amsterdam so he speaks Dutch, too.
After that, there are a few pictures of a snow-covered bench seat in my iphone, and then…
Well, ugh, I still cringe and hunch into my shoulders when I think back on it, well, then I slipped on the icy snow beneath the fresh snow and, it’s so gross, but the only way I can describe it was, my right ankle crumbled under me.
We phoned an ambulance, which, in true Japanese style, arrived in about four minutes. I was still telling the emergency line what had happened when I could hear the sirens. The ambulance or stretcher couldn’t make it into the snow-covered park, so they had to bring a surfboard like stretcher and carry me out of the park into the ambulance.
Kay sat in the back of the ambulance and took photos. Lol. Poor Kay, I doubt he thought his night in Sapporo would end like this. He got some pretty good shots tho. Meanwhile I was like those medical scenes in movies - watching the ceiling and lights pass by. Kay was an amazing support, reaching out and making sure I was okay.
K: “Why are you shaking?”
These next few pics are thanks to Kay.
The emergency department handed me some pain killers, did an x-ray and confirmed that I’d broken my ankle and would need an operation (I’d never had one before - soo gross - but mayyyybe more on that later), and sent us off in a taxi with some crutches. We had just popped out of the hotel with our hotel key so didn’t even have any money or ID.
K: “Do you take Apple Pay?”
It was so nice of the hospital to treat me with the promise of me returning the next day with my insurance card.
Side note - Kay’s hotel room key hack.
The next few days were a bit of a blur. Calling airlines, cancelling appointments, jumping around the hotel room on one foot trying to somehow have something resembling a sponge bath, letting what had happened and how it would impact things somewhat set in, Kay bringing combini run wine and ice for my ankle to the room, discovering just how useful wheelchair toilets are (and having a breakdown in one so loudly that a Jetstar staff was waiting for me to wheel me back to the gate). Actually, Jetstar Japan were soooo amazing. They arranged a wheelchair and assistant staff all the way from Sapporo back home to the taxi stand in Tokyo. They even went to the airport convenience store for me with my wallet.
Then it was a matter of taxis from Narita, a visit to Hiroo Hospital where they wanted to admit me for a month minimum (~!!!), packing up my apt in Tokyo and packing for my flight to Sydney (Thanks Mama and Rob).
Boco-chan picked me up form Hiroo hospital and took me to see the cherry blossoms near my apartment before I flew to Australia.
Shige and Kay came over to my apartment with coffee and helped take my rubbish out, pack up my apartment and wheel me down to the taxi to the airport.
I was so lucky that Mum and Rob could get me on a fancy flight to Sydney. (Thank you so much). The JAL staff were amazing and even got out a wheelchair to take me to the bathroom inflight.
As soon as I landed in Sydney we went straight from the airport to RPA emergency for what ended up being a 3 hour operation to place 12 screws and a big metal plate. 6 weeks with no weight on the foot and 2 months on crutches. Just the other day I watched as they took the plaster cast off and I saw the incisions for the first time. I mean it’s weird when something happens to your body when you’re under anaesthetic because you have no idea what to expect. It was so much bigger than I thought and so many stitches, ugh. Naturally the chronic documenter in me took a video of the stitches coming out - dayum it’s gross.
Hah. I love this medical report.
I don’t, however, love a CT scan. That injection feels pretty gross as you feel it go through your arm veins and heats up your body.
Your girl is off to her first ever operation to join the metal hardware crew.
RPA hosptial brekkie.
Pro tip - if you ask for a sponge bath kit (I did it myself! Lol) you get to take off your oxygen mask. BTW apparently right after the operation, in the recovery room, I was annoyed why no one spoke Japanese. Lol.
Seeing this was…chotto…shocking.
And so now I have to wait another three weeks till I can put any weight on it, and then two months on crutches. I live in a 3F apartment with no lift or not even a hand rail. So when I get back to Tokyo I’ll do the bum shuffle up the stairs again. So. Glam.
Kay made me this YOAO iphone wallpaper, and an awesome German Rap playlist. I’ve been so lucky to have legend friends and family who helped / are helping me through it all. And thank you guys all so much for all of your sweet insta DMs and comments.
Sooo…what cute / fun things should I do while I’m recovering?
Thanks for always being there guys.