Hey, do you remember the time when you got your first major injection? I forgot what they called it…. ah yes! BCG! Don’t ask me what it stands for because we didn’t bother finding out about it.
See, the thing about being a student in Malaysia is that (I’m not complaining, rather stating the fact) when you’re 12 (in some cases 11 because you’re in Standard 6) it’s compulsory to attend this BCG “ceremony”. It’s compulsory because a bunch of scary looking nurses would come to your school to inject you (apparently it helps ward of some kind of disease).
I was 11 back then, and it was May and there were rumours going around the school that apparently a bunch of nurses would be coming to the school to inject us. And there was no way you could escape.
Being 11, and thinking like a typical 11 year old, the first thing that comes into my mind: Skip school! That way, they won’t inject me because they have to go to another school the next day and I’m safe!
Apparently not so. Because turns out, the nurses didn’t come the day I skipped.
I attended school the next day happily (the happiness of a kid who just got a remote control car as his birthday gift). And my friends had to break the bad news to me.
The nurses were coming today! I nearly shat in my pants.
Okay you must be wondering, what’s the big deal about BCG? Why make such a fuss about it and chicken out?
I blame it on my seniors. I remember when we were in Standard 5, they used to scare us by telling us that the nurses used needles as long as 15 inches and burnt the tip and then inject you so that they stung like as though 20 wasps were stinging you. Some took it even further by stating that the nurses injected you so hard, that you could feel the needle pricking your shoulder bone.
That’s scary for an 11 year old man! I couldn’t take it.
Anyways, back to the story. I kept visiting the toilet every 30 minutes. Was extremely scared and nervous. I was practically freaking out because the scary thing about these things is that they don’t tell you when it happens. It just happens without warning.
I hate that.
I’m a person who prefers, if you’re going to punch me in the face, to tell me before hand.
“I’m gonna punch you in the face.”
“Okay hold on, let me just close my eyes a little bit… Are my lips closed? They are?… Alright, hit me!”
I hate it when things happen without warning. Things such as falling and tripping over yourself. Knocking your head on something hard that you didn’t see.
I hate that kind of surprises.
So yes, I was the regular visitor of the school toilet for that day. So much so, I actually knew how many toilet tiles were used to make the toilet floors.
256 (They made extra 6 because some were cut into half at the sides, so I counted them as 1).
After our Mathematics class, they came without warning.
I saw her. A scary looking Malay nurse, slowly ambling up the stairs to our class. All the time I kept praying, “Please God.. please not today. Make it tomorrow! Make it tomorrow!”
And God has funny ways of fooling and scaring the crap out of you.
It was our class’s turn.
In my heart i muttered, “Gee thanks God. That was really helpful…”
We stood up and were made to stand in lines of two. I controlled my fart.
We were made to walk downstairs where the injection were to take place. I could heard tiny little squeaky sounds coming from my backside at each step I took.
We were downstairs and I saw the nurses and I could get the depressing medical smell (the ones you get in hospitals.. I hate that). I let go a loud one. Only this time I didn’t care. I don’t care how loud it was. I just wanna get the hell out of this place!
I saw a bunch of students looking morose and in pain holding on to their left arm. I farted again..
Here’s another thing I don’t understand (sorry I know we’re going off topic again, but it’s just that I’m curious). Why did God create us in such a fashion whereby if we’re scared, we start farting. I mean, come on man. There’s so many other better ways to indicate that a person is scared. I prefer sweating and breathing heavily to farts. God should replace that with cough or sneeze. You get this heavy bouts of coughs and start sneezing profusely. It’s better and plus it doesn’t smell bad. God’s weird… (***NOTE: However according to Bala, not everyone farts when they get nervous. Sorry, my bad. I guess I’m one of the few who do..)
Anyways, it was our class’s turn and we were made to walk into the library (it took place in the library of all my favorite places!).
I could see atleast 10 nurses, all injecting and torturing children. We were separated and made to stand and wait in line for one of the 10 nurses to do her work on us.
Thankfully my good friend, Dhava was infront of me. So he got the shot first. Which also meant I had approximately a few seconds to ask him how it feels like.
See, here’s another thing about us humans. We’re always curious about things like, “How does it feel like doing this?” when someone has done it.
Take for example. When someone falls and starts bleeding. Some genius would ask, “Oh dear! Does that hurt?”
Ofcourse it does dumb ass! I’m bleeding for Christ sake!
Dhava got his shot and he turned around to me and smiled.
“Sakit ah? (Was it painful?)” I nervously asked.
“Macam nyamuk gigit.. (It stings like a mosquito’s bite)” he slowly ambled off.
Shit… He’s lying. I kept telling myself that. He’s lying!
My turn was next. I let go one and sat infront of the nurse only to realise moments later that she’s the most beautiful nurse I’ve ever seen!
She looked at me, (I found it very sensual) held my arms and said, “Jangan takut dik. Tak sakit. Kalau saya gigit lagi sakit tau! (Don’t be afraid, boy. It’s not painful. My bite is even more painful!)” And she laughed.
And I thought to myself in my heart in my broken Malay, “Kalau you gigit, saya lagi suka! (If you really do bite, I’d love it!)”
She dipped the cotton and massaged my skin gently. And suddenly, without a warning, she pricked me.
I didn’t feel any pain. Honest!
Infact, I stood up and as it was customary, the person after you would ask how it feels like.
“Hey sakit ah? (Is it painful?)” a nervous looking Chinese boy asks me.
I smiled and said, “Macam ice cream. (Like ice cream)”