When a 2 person dancing venture in front of a seated docile crowd turns into a 30+ all out dance party I can’t help but beam with pride knowing that my interesting attempts at dancing made that happen. However, when less than 20 min later I am laid up with a scar prone injury bleeding on the beach and being carried home and doctored by 5 random strangers you know that I was in my element–it was a typical Maxie night. 

3 stitches and sentenced to 3 weeks with no swimming was the verdict of my 15 Ringit ($5) Malaysian clinic experience in a small fisherman village on the Prahentian islands. Coincidentally, I got injured on the eve of one of the biggest holidays of the year–the Had Raya–a celebration for Muslims after 40 days of Ramadan fasting. Everything was closed as locals meandered the streets greeting friends in their best holiday clothes. Restaurants held open houses where friends and family, and luckily poor crippled foreigners like myself, we’re invited to indulge in local cuisine such as colorful rice, curry chicken, and a rice and chicken mixture wrapped in banana leaf. Luckily my limp and their kind natured spirit prompted them to wake the one doctor who proceeded to poke and prod with the most painful needle and sew me back together. Thank god for Ankie, who told me to squeeze her bicep so as not to hurt her skinny hand as I cringed in pain. Laughing off the situation and the ridiculousness of me getting hurt yet again, we headed back to Long Beach where we were determined to keep up our spirits in spite of my inability to walk. 

Two dutch guys who we had carried me helplessly the night before after the dancing incident brightened our day by inviting us to a complimentary pineapple cocktail and a comfy beach chair in front of their resort. Chatting the day away, being confined to the beach didn’t seem like the worst thing in the world; but as evening approached and the temporary terrenchual rainstorm  passed, I knew that I would struggle against my desires to dance yet again. As if they sensed my desperation, I was startled as they bombarded our room and dragged us to the beach bar and set me propped on two chairs in the middle of the dance floor. Waterproof sack over my foot, I chair danced and received numerous lap dances as all those I had met in the past few days danced around me. Hours later, I was carried to my bed and drifted off to laughter and conversations with strangers that would now become new friends. 

Getting hurt may be something that even my parents are no longer surprised to hear about, but knowing that I can make the best out of the situation and surround myself with good people just proves to me that I should never regret my decisions to go big–even if it means going home piggybacked.