Shots

This morning we took our child to get immunized. I never would have thought that two months after being born, my daughter would be doing shots in the same room as me, but clearly like father, like daughter. Lucky it wasn’t tequila.
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After getting stuck full of vaccines, we took her round the corner to the Tanglin Mall, where she got to watch me having a full Italian breakfast. That’s the same as a full English, except you get a cappuccino instead of a mug of tea so strong your spoon stands up in it (shortly before dissolving). The cafe we were at also served chocolate shots, which turned out to be small glasses of hot chocolate; probably best not to try to drink them out of the navel of a drunk Spring Breaker. Everywhere I go, I’m haunted by shots.

Breakfast was just preparation for a couple of hours of first aid training. It was good to learn a bit about how to deal with choking babies, and brush up on CPR, but as before all the discussion of life saving techniques made me feel ever so maudlin. When somebody mentions hypothetically finding an unconscious child surrounded by Lego, it’s hard to prevent me from welling up. I suppose I can now add this to the list of things that make me “have something in my eye”: the end of Wreck-It Ralph, the whole of Crying Fist, the thought of mouth to mouth on a toddler.

Still, better to know what to do than not know what to do. It was also interesting to have the reminder that Singapore’s emergency number for ambulances and fire engines is 995, and for police it’s 999. Because the police deserve one special line and the ambulances don’t? Because there’s twice as many people phoning for the police as for medical assistance? Because it’s just fun to make sure there’s more than one number people need to remember in stressful situations?

Not to disparage the emergency response lines. They’re pretty smart. As we came home this evening, we drove past a car that was quite spectacularly on fire. There was no sign of sirens anywhere, and I didn’t want to assume somebody else had called it in, so I rang 995 to report it. Before I even mentioned where I was, the phone operator asked me if I was calling about the fire at Havelock Square, so I assume they’re capable of tracing the location of the mobile phone I was calling from. Which is good for deploying fire engines, and I suppose a real bind for people making hoax calls. Unless they borrow somebody else’s phone.

We’d gone out to the Baby Hypermarket to get our pushchair repaired. One of the wheels has got a bit loose and is making worrying knocking noises. We tried to explain this at the service centre, but there was a full-blown Cantopop concert going on outside, in the middle of an industrial estate in the middle of nowhere. The full nine yards: a man in a shiny suit and shinier haircut, a backing band who all seemed to have Casio keyboards from the 1980s, and between songs the Loudest Woman In The Universe screeching at the audience. Chinatown was silent at nine p.m., suggesting we were more lost than we thought and had ended up in Opposite Singapore. If we stay, I’ll probably have to do National Service because I’m not a citizen, but the upside will be that the government pays me $80,000 to drive a car.

Our daughter was unmoved by all this, but then she’s running quite a fever after getting her shots. At one point her temperature skyrocketed, but she seems to be quite comfortable, and not too warm, right now, so like all worried parents we just watch her and wonder what’s next.

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