Saturday morning, when I hot up for going to the airport for the flight to Beijing my right knee was a little swollen and painful at touch. Very weird: I could not recall having crashed ,twisted or hurt that knee in any ways! But something must had happen..
Still on Saturday I felt pain only when touching and not so much either, so I thought that maybe during practice, once the whole body was warm the problem would have been negligible. There was no reason to not go to Beijing, throw away tickets and plans for a good Aikido weekend..
I will talk about the Aikido elsewhere, but I can say I really enjoyed practicing with Dominque Rascle and I hope to meet him again, maybe in a better condition..
Back to my present condition, Saturday no big troubles. Little pain, but true, after getting warm almost no problem. Little more stiffness and pain after practice, after getting cold again. But not enough pain for not enjoying a nice dinner with Aikido people than then a visit to a very cool live music bar with Ulrich and other friends.
And then Sunday morning the knee was a little worse. More pain in touching and I realized the skin temperature: the knee was burning respect to the other one! Unfortunately during Sunday morning practice we had a short suwariwaza technique, and that was painful, to the point I decided to ask sensei if it was ok me avoiding seiza and suwariwaza from afternoon practice. He said yes, and then also he did not chose those techniques.
Last session went ok, and I took it also quite slow, but even with a lot of throws and ukemi The knee did not give me big troubles… until after practice, fold hakama, shower.. and then I thought I had one leg cast in cement, ready for a good old days mafia swim with the sharks..
The pain during the dinner was quite high, I could not find a comfortable position for the leg, and then it all went worse because a wrong decision chain ended with the brilliant idea to take the “express” train to the airport (20 minutes.. to terminal 3!! then at least 15 minutes more for the terminal 2..).. I missed my flight back to Hefei.. and started a new odyssey, similar to Kyoto trip one..
This time first I had to reschedule the flight, buying and outrageous first class seat (the last one) for a flight to Shanghai (next possible flight to Hefei would have been Monday around 5pm!!) (many tears, to the point that first I said no way.. but then thinking over it was the only thing to do). Then I went to the China Eastern lounge, since I paid in gold for a seat, and not so much alcohol, but tiny sandwiches had the perfect dimension to find their way in my bag!
When it was time to board the flight (with my expensive ticket in the hand) ad the gate some China Easter personnel tells me that actually I did not pay for the ticket.. because first I said I wanted to cancel, but then I decided to take it.. thing they did not understand apparently (so why the check in went ok?????) . So basically they told me I could not board the flight.. I started smiling (thinking about eating the tiny sandwiches sitting on a bench in Beijnig airport). Very calmly I said that clearly it was a misunderstanding so I just could pay in Shanghai the ticket if they had not a card machine there.. and they asked me if I had cash RMB or dollars for the ticket price.. and I laughed.. (outrageous expensive, I want to remind you!)
So they started calling people on the other side of the airport and finally we had a little run to the security check where one of the China Eastern guys sneaked in and passed over a portable card reader for the payment, that I performed and ran back to the gate.. (in sandals.. yes, my knee not that happy!).
Once landed in Hong Qiao same story as last time: looking for a place in the railway station (last time was the metro area) for the night.. but this time I did not manage to sleep, not even 1 hour. Clouds of mosquito that my repellent could not keep away, awareness for my luggage and pain in the knee.. a destructive mix! At 6am I managed by myself for the first time ever to buy a train ticket to Hefei, on a fast train that got me here around 10:30.. worst possible time to get a taxi!! Maybe 70 people waiting and 1-2 taxi coming at slow rate. So I started walking in direction of the center and grab a cab o the way (for the happiness of my watermelon knee).
Once home a cold shower for extinguish the fire and a visit to the medic of my compound that gave me some special patches with some sort of oil to apply for 24 hours on the swollen and red areas, where the pain is worse. I had 2 patches for about 3 hours now and I can feel a little decrease of the skin temperature..
Magic Chinese medicine as usual!! I will get more of these patches ;-)