‘Why do I have my arm, elbow deep, in a toilet in Vietnam?’
This is what I wondered to myself on one early morning in Nha Trang.
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My fingers flexed searching for the errant item that has decided to leap to its murky watery depths. I tried not to gag but I did. Luckily, it was a dry heave and nothing came out to hit the porcelain.
It just couldn’t get any worse for me.
Then my travel buddy walked in the bathroom and saw me hunched over the throne, wiggling my bum in the air.
‘What the hell are you… Is that your hand in the toilet?’
I nodded, my face green with revulsion,
‘I dropped my ear mould down the toilet.’
There you have it.
A functional part of my hearing aid, a means of channelling what I hear from the microphone through this spongy like mould that fits inside my ear, was utterly and deeply down the toilet.
It all rather happened in slow motion, I do have to say.
Every morning, I usually give my ear mould a quick wash to stop any infections from happening, dry them and then with a flourish, I would blow excess water through the tubing.
It was the blowing that found me in this position. Believe me, it wasn’t a position that I wanted and especially on the other side of the world.
I rather blew too hard and the ear mould was propelled off the tubing. I tried to catch it but as Sod’s law dictated, I had to catch like a girl. I missed, an the ear mould bounced off my wrist, changing its trajectory course from landing in the sink to that of breaking through the grimy water of the toilet next to the sink.
You can imagine a whole range of expletives were uttered from my mouth.
I needed that ear mould. I didn’t have a spare on me. What could I do? I was only into my third month on my nine month trip around the world and I couldn’t afford to fly back home, wait a four week wait for a new one after being seen to at hospital and then fly back to Vietnam – ideally not in front of the toilet again.
So, down I went, like a speed of a hummingbird to grab the mould before it went down the pipe even further.
Luckily, my fingers felt the mould and I pulled it out with my own uttered fanfare in front of my travel buddy’s face. A gloop slowly dropped from it, narrowly missing our bare feet.
She moved back, shock in her face and closed the bathroom door, traumatised.
‘You’re gonna clean that, right?’
I grinned. I was so pleased that I got my lifeline back. But only after five rounds of deep cleaning before I could bring myself to place it back in my ear.
Oh, I avoided using my own mighty breath and opted to break out my hearing aid maintenance kit and used the hearing air blower instead.
This time, my hearing didn’t go down the toilet…