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Chapter OneSwitzerland is well known for many good things. In addition to their watches, clocks and many industrial products, Switzerland is a good place for vacation, particularly for skiing. Davos Plates, located in a remote area on the northwest of Switzerland near Bazale. Davos Plates is a little town on the mountain and is famous for big resorts for winter skiing. The annual meeting of the winners of the Nobel Prize takes place here at this remote area. The Swiss Research Institute, famous for their investigation and progress in the field of treatment of fracture, is known all over the world is located in this town.
During the last Sunday of November, at about 10 o'clock in the morning, when I reached a hill at the foot of a plateau for skiing, and by surprise, I saw just a few people who were interested to climb up the hill compared with the day before when hundreds were in queue. Two security guards standing at the entrance of the gate. There was a large sign written in four languages that with the tele-ski, only trained professional skier can ski because we have been told that the weather can change very quickly and it is not advisable for the average skier to go up on that hill today. However, for the new arrivals who does not have any engagement, the change of bad weather could be considered as some type of engagement, if not amusement.
In Davos Plates, there is a valley stretching from east to west. On the south side of this valley, you will find the villages, with a population of 4,000 people living in small houses. On the north side of this valley, you will find a very nice slope pathway for skiing. From the hilltop, there are two ski path ways; one goes towards Germany and the other towards Switzerland. Two of these pathways are very deep downhill slope and only used by highly skilled and professional skiers. However, the lower part of this hill, which has a vast slopes measuring approximately four miles and shadowing towards the village is a good cross country skiing areas.
Here, you will find various facilities for skiing. That was my third day in Switzerland, and yesterday, Egger, my Swiss friend took me to this area, and I am here hoping that on Monday, I will be interviewed and get a job at the Swiss Research Institute. For a foreigner in this area, it is strange, and there is not much to do, except to go skiing. However, after challenging with the security guard, after a couple of very young skier passed the gate, they allowed me to take the tele-skier to the top. It was a wonderful feeling to be up riding, and so much beautiful surroundings. Although it was cold, you had to avoid the unnecessary movement not only for your protection from the cold, but for me, being my first time to be on a tele-skier, from a height of approximately 1300 meters and in some areas are higher is rather very rare experience. The bluish snow and the wind would imbalance the tele-skier. The beauty of the white snow and the cleanliness sky as far as your eyes can see are amazing from the top, including some of the trees that were buried in the snow. But the view you will see from both sides is a scenario of cleanliness, and there is a blue sky with the exception of a spot of little white cloud would be seen almost everywhere, white of white blush.
Chapter TwoAfter ten minutes of a joyful ride, we arrived to the top of the hill were there was a little café. In this cold weather, a hot drink would be really refreshing. Swiss coffee is different. You must taste it to realize what I am talking about, particularly in such a cold and remote area, in such a cold day. However, the smell of warm café in a crowded room filled with voices of people communicating with each other. Most of them are couples, one thing that I had noticed. I thought they have been created only to love each other. Most of the people are gathered around the counter.
When I arrived, my wool gloves were wet from the cold weather then frozen and my hands were really burning up. I now placed my ski set aside and as I looked around, I saw another person who was alone like myself. As I looked at him, I noticed that he is a tall man, in his early 60's with a bearded chin, with pieces of ice hanging on his beard, and this man smiled at me, and his smile was very inviting to me. This gentleman came with his coffee in his hand and sat next to me. Janet, the beautiful lady in the bar blinked her eye meant I find a companion. We smiled at each other as a sign of courtesy, and he asked me if I am going to ski down the slopes. I responded and said yes, and he said, "So do I". I always drink Swiss coffee, anywhere in the world. But they make it very thick and creamy, with a smooth mild taste, and in that cold weather, that perhaps is the best thing to get you back to life. A coffee particularly with a smile from such a beautiful young girls brings your energy back. I did not notice the time, but gradually, I saw the people taking their coffee cup, putting on their ski suits and leaving the café, again paired in couples. Finally, I was warm enough; I got up and put on my ski suit, too. I came out and came in front of the café. It was a sharp slippery on the top of the hill. Outside of this little café is called Tophill Unique Café, but there is a red flag and sign, "Go today only if you skilled and have courage". They warned the people that the only professional skier can come to this area. In my opinion, the weather was good and it would be safe for people to ski down the slopes. Yesterday, I had been through this valley and it took me more than half an hour to ski down the slopes, and it was very enjoyable. Egger told me that I can come here every day, and if it chooses to go on the right side, it takes one and half hour to ski down the slopes. But of course, we were halfway on the hill. Egger told me "Whenever you want, you would be able to take a tele-ski way and climb up the ski slopes or get the walking route". One could climb up the hill or down to the valley with ski. He told me that If I would get hungry, there are numerous restaurants along the pathway. My plan was that to come and take one of the new pathways of the ski and when I reached down, I get lunch and amused myself with a long walk on the hill towards the village. By the time, I planned, I had used much of the Sunday afternoon and I will be prepared for a good sleep.
Here I am on the top of the hill and it is 1:00 p.m. and I had not started skiing. The weather was good and the sun was shining, and there were few people skiing down the hill. The other side of the village, I saw some houses which appears smaller from a distance of approximately 2-3 miles from each other, and cars on the streets. I wished to be here in April when the valley will be green. However, I wished to finish my skiing experience today. I must mention, I had little experience on downhill, but good with cross country but never have been on such a slope. I have covered my ears with my hat and tightened my skies and worn my gloves which I have dried at the café near the fireplace. I have checked my shoes and skiing equipments and started to ski down the slope. I took the chance and took the risk. Nobody cares about me and I have lost everything I had. Why should I worry? There were my thoughts.
I have started very smoothly, but I could not see because of the blow of the snow covering my glasses and lost my balance, and I came rolling down the hill. One of my skis, on my left foot came off, and I realized that I have one ski, I tried to keep up my right leg up to balance the ski to keep it from getting stuck into something. I had past experience and knew that if your ski get stuck, your leg will be twisted and fracture of the leg will be absolutely certain.
For this reason, I held up my right leg with the ski as much as I could, and I was going on my back slipping without having any control. I was stocking with my left foot to slow my speed, and my right leg with my elbows was on the snow as I tried to come down through the pathway. I felt that my head was hitting the snow, but because of the sharp slopes on the hill, I was going down without control. I was very scared and did not know whether,
I am heading down the hill? the Valley? or the Mountain? And the snow blowing was now coming behind me and that would increase my speed as I was coming down the slopes. Suddenly, I felt I am dead and my whole body was buried under a queue of the snow that came over me. I fell on my right side, and after a few minutes, I regained consciousness, and I felt I was alive.
I could move my left hand and I removed my glasses, and then cleaned my eyes. What was I was seeing was all white.
Chapter ThreeThe sky was white, white cloud in front of me were all snow white. On either side, as far as I could see, there were flat hills which was covered with snow, and for a few seconds, I did not know whether I have lost consciousness or not, but first I tried to breathe deeply. A few times, as a physician, I examined myself, first, as we have been taught in medical school, that if I can breathe comfortably. I thank God that I was able to breathe comfortably. I thank God that I was able to breathe deeply and I would not have any difficulty breathing through my nose, throat, it seems that was intact. Then gently, I palpated my chest over my heart on the side and I did not feel any pain, which is the sign of ribs fracture and neither did have a sharp pain in my chest. Then I started with my left hand to touch the right side of my chest and then touched upward on my collar bones on both side. With the left hand, I really examined my neck. The neck is very important beside the injury. I was surprised that did I not notice any tenderness. I have some pain behind my head. While my right hand was on the left knee, and the ski has pene-trated inside the slopes, it was very difficult to get up. However, with my left hand, I examined my stomach, and there was no painful area. I touched my left thigh and I could move my thigh up to the left foot, for which I had the shoes by myself, is the reason has come off my foot. Each time that I moved myself to the left, I have placed my elbow and tried to push, but it was rather difficult. My right side was embedded in the snow.
Fortunately, the snow was very heavy and thick. I could hardly move my body and could not hold up my right leg, and as a result, I could not release the ski from my right foot. My right leg and thigh was buried under a huge piece of snow. For a few minutes, I uselessly tried to release my leg, but I could not. I lost consciousness and scared to death. Again, I regained consciousness and felt my head aching, and I was certain that I have sustained contusion over the back of my head. Now I am sure that soon I will be buried in the snow that started to fall and I would freeze to death. I was actually angry that I was alive but could not save myself. Now, I had severe pain in my right elbow and right leg. I realized that head injury was not serious. No abdominal injury and fortunately, no fracture to my left leg, but nevertheless I was really scared to move for some reason my back, and did not know what may have happened to my right leg, and my lumbar spine without motion and if I move it, I will become paralyzed. Meanwhile, the blow of the snow and it was real cloudy but fortunately, suddenly the weather changed. I saw a very nice sunshine. At that time, it was giving a warm, nice and desirable heat on my face, and gradually, I had taken off my gloves and I was breathing deeply and easily. There is no dust and it was fresh breathing and it was really some of the moments in my life that I will never forget. It was so clean and calm atmosphere on the top of the sky; it was all clean white as far as I could see. I could breathe perhaps 30% oxygen, instead of 19% and each time that I was breathing, I would feel I was more alive. I could think. My thinking was very sharp. I have reviewed my life, myself. I was thinking how I was put in this trap; I tried to remember what was happened?
Gradually, I remember I was in a strange country, what I did, and how I could leave my homeland so easily. I did not have a clue from the new homeland. I tried to bury it in my mind and think of the present time as a fresh air as I was breathing that I never have before. Each time that I was breathing, I would feel more energy and more alive. I wished I die peacefully. It was a very joyful moment. No one would bother you, you can think of anything and you can stay as much as you want. Unable to move to help myself and unable to die, one must be in such unusual circumstances to realize my strange feelings at these moments. While I was in my strange world, suddenly I heard someone's yelling, "Are you alive?" Are you alive?" I could not see anybody, but after I heard the voice, I raised my left hand and waved it as a confirmation. A few moments later, I have realized that I am lying down towards the valley, and someone had touched my head and asked once again, "Are you alive?"
Chapter FourI said, "yes," and held my head towards the direction of the voice, because the gentleman who came up to tele-ski after me, in the Tophill Café, and we had glanced at each other at the café. I have recognized his face and particularly his beard. For a few minutes, I have turned my head to the left side and looked at his smiling face. He had the ski stick on the side of the hill facing me. He started to disengage the ski from my right foot and he came closer to me. He stated that, "I am glad that you are alive". I am surprised that you are alive. The strong wind had blown on you down on your face. I was the only person who was watching you. You have started very smoothly, but because of the blaze and wind was blowing from behind you, first it speeds you up and suddenly a tornado-like wind came from downhill upward and hit on your face and you lost your balance. I have seen your ski on the air and then you fell down the slopes. I thought that you were killed and I have returned to the café and informed some of the people. This was at approximately 2:00 p.m. and by 4:00 p.m. when nobody came, and because the weather has changed, I myself had to come and discover what has happened to you".
"The people started to ski and I turned to trace the way that you came down the hill. I have called for help and the helicopter ambulance. I am sure I will get help and we will take you to the hospital. But because I am a physician, I could not ignore you. I have informed the people at the café that someone had fallen on the blaze and was buried in the snow. I was advised that they will inform the security people, and the guards will arrive on helicopter. But because the weather has calmed down and I remember your trace, I have decided to look for you, and I am glad that you are alive. I am a physician, and let me see if you have sustained any fracture." I said, "Thank you, doctor, but I do not have any fracture". He replied, "Yes, you are alive, but how do you know that you have not sustained any fracture?" I have to examine you. I am sure you have sustained injury to some parts of your body. I am an orthopaedic surgeon and let me see you. It is a good chance for you to be examined by an Orthopaedic Surgeon, and it is a good chance for me that I have found you alive." I have responded, "Please believe me that I have not sustained any fracture, except, I have some pain in my head and If you would release my right leg, I will be feeling good.
Chapter FiveHe said, "Your feeling good is not enough". I have to examine your chest and your limbs. If you have a fracture, you may not be able to lift your leg, and particularly, it would not be painful." At this point, I said, "Doctor, I am pleased to tell you that I am a physician, too, and it happened that I have tried to examine myself and I did not find any fracture in my neck, collarbone, arms and back except my right leg. But I have severe pain in my lower back and I cannot feel my right leg". At this time, he extended his right hand and introduced himself as Professor Bob Marshall from the United States. I took off my right glove and shook his hand, and said "I am Dr. Samar". In this way, we made a good introduction to each other. Then asked me, "Why did you come alone?" Are you practicing in this area? Are you from Switzerland?" I said, "No, I am not from Switzerland, and I am not practicing here. He said, "I am working in a University and I am here to attend a meeting". Today, a lot of people who came to ski are afraid of the weather. My wife stayed at the hotel. I am a good skier and I can ski even in bad weather. When I saw you fall down, I waited approximately three hours, it was badly snowing. I told the people at the café, and weather changed. I have seen people coming along to ski without caring about you. I could not wait anymore, and I took my ski gear, because I could not forget you because you fell under my eyes and I knew where you have fallen. I could not leave you here and go. Surprisingly, I saw that you are sliding down the hill, but from a distance, I could not know which side of your body was up or down. I thought that you will finally fall inside the hole or valley, and you break your neck or legs. I am extremely pleased, Dr. Samar that you are alive and have not broken any part of your body.
Excerpted from Fanatism by Samar Copyright © 2011 by Dr. Samar. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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