And the reward for the first injury goes to…
ME! Of course.
So let me give a little lead-in for this one. I drank an expired canned coffee drink that I bought at a grocery (I was unaware of the expiration date at the time of consumption), and let’s just say it’s has had dire digestive consequences. Spicy Sichuan food did not help the situation. So after subsisting on two bowls of rice a day for three days (because I had to work out in the field where bathrooms (read:bamboo groves or tree lines) can be scarse), I did not need anything else to traumatize my body.
Enter brittle tile.
So in our augering group there are eight of us: four archaeologists and four day workers. While we were walking along a paddy terrace wall (mounded earth just wide enough to walk atop), we encountered a gap that was bridged by a long, thick brick or tile. The five individuals in front of me, all grown men, stepped on this tile to cross the gap. I, apparently, was the dealbreaker, because the moment I set foot on it the tile snapped into pieces and I fell into the gap. The gap wasn’t that deep, but the sharp edge of the tile did manage to slice both my shins wide open.
Luckily this occured fairly close to lunch time and I could see our drivers’ vans waiting about 500 meters ahead. My right shin was cut pretty damn deep and was bleeding down into my boot, so the director had to take me to a “clinic” to have the cuts cleaned and bandaged.
The guy in the clinic did put on a white lab coat over his leather jacket, I have to say. I was bombarded with alcohol swabs and iodine while the auger team director took pictures of me. I have not yet obtained these pictures, but I plan on doing so very soon. I trooped through the rest of the day, got a bag of ice from a restaurant when I got back to the hotel, and I was lucky enough to be able to stay down doing data entry and processing artifacts.
The guy at the clinic was extremely nice and the visit only cost me 4 quai (less than a dollar American). The US should take some lessons from these guys…