Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Monkey Ate my Glasses!




It’s the end of day five for Amanda and me at the rescue center and we have just had our first day off, although not by choice. The day before we were collecting food bowls from a macaque enclosure when I made the rookie mistake of allowing my face to get to close to the cage and within seconds I received a sucker punch between the eyes and my glasses were gone. Patty, a female long-tailed macaque, was munching on my frames while I called to Amanda to get help. After what seemed like hours and multiple spectators later, a member of the Thai staff at the center simply went into the cage and retrieved what was left of my glasses, two lenses and the bridge of my once beautiful blue plastic and wire frames. By this point in time I was completely distraught, because not only was I in a country where I couldn’t speak the language, now I couldn’t even see. Luckily, I was told by many of the volunteers that optometry was very popular in Thailand, and it wouldn’t be difficult for me to find a place where I could get my macaque scratched lens into new frames. It was also fortunate that, at the time, two of the volunteers spoke Thai fluently and they were able to write me a note to give to an optometrist explaining what I wanted. So with the knowledge that I would soon be able to see again, and with the note from my Thai friend, Lissa, Amanda and I made our first of many trips to a nearby city called Hua Hin (pronounced Wa Hin). Upon arrival to a huge mall known as Market Village, we quickly discovered an eye care center and within twenty minutes, I had received an eye exam, new frames, and contact lenses, so I would never have to relive the experience. Amanda and I also got some pizza, and the indulgence of cheese after five days without was almost as satisfying as getting my eyesight back.

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