What I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving…

Khema Emergency Room 

It may be an odd post for Thanksgiving, but I’m feeling grateful tonight. On my last night in Phnom Penh, I tripped and broke my foot. I’d had an insightful day of sightseeing and learning about Cambodian history when we were en route to dinner, and I tripped. (No, I didn’t sue the hotel. Instead, I contacted the owner to let him know how the flawed design led to the accident and how a simple change could be made to ensure that this never happens again.) As a foodie, I insisted that we still eat dinner first before going to the hospital!

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When we flew to Siem Reap the next day, I couldn’t visit Angkor Wat, but I still had a nice time. What I dreaded more than anything was returning to Beijing. It’s said that if New York is dog-eat-dog, Beijing is 人吃人. How would I survive with a cast and crutches in BEIJING?!

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The pleasant surprise of all this was that I’ve seen an entirely new side of the city I’ve called home for nearly 12 years: 滴滴专车 drivers that insisted on helping me in and out of the car; the 保安’s in my apartment building opening the door for me (I’ve come back from international trips before at 3 am to have them watch me struggle with my huge suitcases!); the 武警 at work looking at me with concern as I made my way to their posts; the Sherpa’s and 饿了么 deliverymen who kept me fed; and the many people who offered to lend a hand. Cutting back on my social life for the past two months gave me time to reflect. Slowing down was refreshing.

After six weeks, the fractures are healed; the cast came off last week, and I’m down to one crutch now.

Eternal gratitude to:

– those sweet doctors in Cambodia,

– the incredible staff of Xiamen Airlines who got me home, and

– the doctors at China-Japan Friendship Hospital who handled the final part of the treatment.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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