Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Getting Off On The Wrong Foot

When it was time to head out of Hallstatt, we called everyone back to the bus. Joss (and others) had their feet stuck in the water because it was a hot day and Hallstatt has a lake. He obediently climbed up and promptly sliced his foot on something. 
It was really deep. (That wet spot there was mostly blood.) Please do keep in mind that he and I and Maddie and Will were still freshly dropped off in Austria; still didn't really know which way was up. I just kind of stared. Then I held his sock wadded up to it and it bled all over the sock. I went through my first aid kit in my purse. Thankfully everyone else was much more capable. Our facilitator here kept Joss calm and distracted. Another student gave me several tissues to hold down on the wound which stopped the bleeding (and were far more sanitary than his sock). Our bus driver brought out his first aid kit which had fantastic elastic gauze. And Maddie saved the day with her first aid training. After I'd gotten it to stop bleeding, she chose the band-aid and used the gauze and watched him for shock and kept his foot elevated. We'd thought we would have to stop the whole bus at Bad Ischl while we took him to the hospital there, but he looked so good (and fell asleep) that we drove straight to Salzburg and got everyone checked into the hotel Turnerwirt.
 Here's another place that I love: the Hotel Turnerwirt. The first time we stayed here it was unremarkable except that they had a room with 5 beds. Second time here we discovered the go carts and rabbits in the backyard. And the laundromat. This time around we found the Kinderspielraum (kids' playroom) in the basement. Such a party, with its Xbox and disco ball and bins of My Little Pony playthings. Also, legos.
 So once everyone had their hotel rooms, Rob decided that we wouldn't be able to carry Joss up and down 4 flights of stairs. We switched down to the handicapped rooms which had a nice easy shower to stick him in, and air conditioning. Yes! You read that right! I found a thermostat and fiddled with it, and the look of surprise and confusion on Rob's face when he walked into an icebox of a room was priceless!
Rob took Joss to the hospital via taxi, and I took the students off to the restaurant where we had reservations. The students were great, our server was great, I tipped too much, and then I let Maddie and Sebi stick around. I was too tired and I headed back to the hotel on the bus.
It was only once I got there that I realized I'd left an 11-year-old with a 16-year-old in all of Salzburg with only two transportation cards and 10 euros; only the barest of directions. But the students were all there and one of them had served 6 months of his mission in Salzburg. They had a good time. I jumped off the bus just as Rob and Joss were pulling up in a taxi. Joss got 3-4 stitches and was in good spirits. The hospital was very impressed with Maddie's bandaging job. I tell you, having a lifeguard for a child has got benefits.
 Next morning, Rob, Sebi and Maddie went off on the walking tour of Salzburg while Will and Joss tried out the Kinderspielraum. At noon, I took the two boys back into town and we ate at the same restaurant: Sternbrau, which is also a joy. They're huge, unflappable, have good food, and they just re-did their bathrooms and their Kinderspielraum, which we also put to good use while we figured out what to do.
 Rob took up the challenge as only he can. He found an available wheelchair from the Merciful Brothers of Salzburg (and I'm not even kidding). We stuck Joss in it (who didn't mind being pushed around one little bit) and we went all. over. town.
 It would have been enough for most of us (even the reasonable among us) to have a nice time walking the flatlands of Salzburg. There are many flatlands, and they're full of beautiful squares, darling lanes, grand fountains, and wonderful history. But Rob wanted to conquer Salzburg with a wheelchair. So we took the elevator to the Modern Art Museum (a mere 4.40 for the whole family, instead of 11/person for the funicular) and we walked from the Mönchsberg over to the Hohensalzburg fortress. Most of it was a beautiful tree-lined walk above town and the tourists. It got plenty whiny there at the end. There was a stretch which was too steep for a wheelchair and we all thought Rob had gone 'round the bend (really, I think it may mean that Rob is fully recovered; he is his old self). But then we arrived at the courtyard with free wi-fi and cold drinks and we all made a remarkable turnaround.
Here Rob and Will take the wheelchair down to the funicular on our way home. These two took it back to the Barmherzige Brüder and brought back pizza to the hotel. At 9:00pm. Phew! What a day! The kids ate pizza and watched Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in German in their air conditioned room.
And I am happy to report that Joss's stitches came out a week later and his foot is healing up nicely.

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