The Case of the Missing Toenail [READ]

The case of the missing toenail, a travel story - Castaway with Crystal

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      How does one even lose an entire toenail???

      Pushkar is famous for being a predominantly Hindu town, frowning upon any meat or alcohol. The whole of India is quite conservative when it comes to women’s clothing, and this is very apparent in Pushkar. In places that are predominantly Hindi, it’s respectful and common to cover your knees and shoulders at all times, even when you are swimming in public water holes.

      In Pushkar, I lived in a cute locally owned hotel just outside of town in a small private room on the ground floor facing the courtyard. This was both beautiful and a curse as my windows and door opened out onto this courtyard and if I wanted any privacy I had to close the wooden shutters of the windows, which would subsequently plunge the whole room into complete darkness. Obviously, I had lights in my room though, so everything was fine and dandy.

      The case of the missing toenail, a travel story - Castaway with Crystal

      One morning I was enjoying a nice hot shower (quite the novelty in India) when the lights go out. The bathroom goes pitch black and the water turns freezing cold. I amble out of the shower grappling for my towel in the dark and “BANG!” Smack my toe on a heavy wooden chair.

      I think to myself “well that kinda hurt” but the pain was pushed aside as I had an important job to do: find my clothes in the dark. Quite a difficult task when you’re a dirty backpacker and clothes are literally strewn all over the room.

      Then the pain begins to worsen…

      My toe feels like somebody is slicing it open with a razor blade and squirting lime juice in the wound. I need to see what has happened to it, but first I have to find some goddam clothes!

      Finally, I happen across some strangely shaped underwear and a t-shirt. I throw the door open, light flooding in to reveal a murder-scene. Crimson blood and bloodied clothes are scattered about the room.

      The case of the missing toenail, a travel story - Castaway with Crystal

      I have no toilet paper or tissue to clean it up. So I improvise by grabbing a menstrual pad and start mopping it up whilst balancing awkwardly trying not to get toe blood on any more furniture.

      A young boy wanders past and peers inside my room and a look of horror draws on his face. The room is splashed with blood and I’m quivering and shaking, mopping blood off my toe with a menstrual pad and wearing nothing more than underwear and a see-through shirt.

      Understandably, he piss-bolts in the opposite direction.

      The case of the missing toenail, a travel story - Castaway with Crystal

      I, on the other hand, have no time for games. I hoist up my toe for closer inspection. To my surprise my entire toenail is missing. Cool! I guess that explains the endless blood.

      At this moment the power comes back on, basking light over the entire scene. I decide a mere band-aid is suitable enough and go about looking for the first-aid kit. After cleaning up a little I make an attempt to find the actual toenail, you know, just to check. However, to this day, I have no idea where my toenail disappeared to in that teeny tiny room.

      WANT MORE? Read my story about being locked out of my room naked

      The case of the missing toenail, a travel story - Castaway with Crystal

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      Location Info

      Place: Pushkar, Rajasthan
      Country: India
      Language: The main language is Hindi. English and Marwari are spoken as well, plus hundreds of others
      Currency: Indian rupee (INR, ₹)   
      $1 USD = ₹64.09
      I was here: January to August 2014

      Have you ever broken off your toenail? Did you ever find it!?!

      Liked this story? Feel free to share the laughs

      Categories: From the Diary, India, Stories
      Crystal Egan

      Passionate baby goat cuddler and part-time adventurer, Crystal can often be found doing headstands on the edges of cliffs, taking photos of abandoned buildings or sleeping on deserted islands with dangerous criminals. She has too many awesome stories and helpful tips to keep them all to herself so follow along and in return she will bring you inspiring pictures, travel videos and a whole load of fun!


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