Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Jellyfish Kiss

I loved going to the beach last summer. The last time I went last year was Sept 16th. I made a conscious decision that this year I would go as often as possible. I lost count, but it was about fourteen or fifteen times.

The weather had been great and there was always plenty of eye candy on the beach. Once it reached the end of August though, and the end of the summer holidays there were far fewer people on the beach, and it was much easier to find a private plot of sand to assemble my blue tarp. (Although this didn't stop a Japanese guy from sitting down within two metres of me).

The last time I went was the 12th of September. It was humid and hot in Tokyo, so another dip in the Japan Sea was still inviting. It was quite sad to watch them pull the beach huts down. It felt like the end of Summer was here.

Nevertheless  it was relaxing. I arrived at 1pm. I quickly went into the water, and alternated between drinking a chu-hi and eating, then getting back in again. By 5 or 6pm I had two and a half chu-his. I felt hot, so I thought I'd jump in once more.

So.. with my gung-ho intoxication, I leapt through the water, and dived head and arms first into the water. And then it hit me. As soon as I went under the water I felt a warm, tingling sensation.

It was a familiar sting. The only thing was it was on my face, and all over the whole torso of my body. I had dived into the path of jellyfish. I quickly got out of the water, and went to the toliet block. My body had distinctly red rashes, and what looked like a tentacle welt line running down both sides of my face down to the middle of my chest. Mostly it looked and felt like sunburn.

I was cursing my bad luck sitting on the tarp. Feeling sorry for myself I drank the rest of my chuhi before leaving. I guess I should be mildly thankful. The jellyfish in Australia are much more deadly. IF the same thing happened I'd most likely have been screaming in agony.

The next morning when I woke up, I felt my right eye was heavy. Overnight it had become swollen enough that I could only keep that eye have open. I guess it was time to see the doctor.

My doctor said, "You know it's jellyfish season?" Of course I knew. I had little stings before and made nothing about them. If I didn't go into the water so quickly, I think I'd have avoided this.

It only cost 1,100 yen for the appointment, and 790 yen for the creams and allergy tablets he prescribed. In a week, my face looks normal, and the rashes have subsided. If the weather had not turned rainy in the days after, I'd even have attempted to go to the beach one last time.

Want to see an example of what a jellyfish kiss looks like? Here you go!