Thursday, June 23, 2011

Literal Delhi Belly

Location: India

I'd been in India awhile. I'd had my moments with the toilet but I was going great. Before I got there I'd been told: if you're not Ill within two weeks you ain't doing it properly and it's very true. You'd have to eat in only the poshest IE touristy places to not get ill and even then it's a risky business. As it is, most restaurants would barely qualify for the term. Imagine your living room, open to the street and full of tables. And the ever present teeming millions. Dude comes along with a bucket. Your choice us yellow slop with bread or orangey brown mush with rice. And it tastes fucking lovely.

There is so much great food in India that's just waiting to be tried.

We arrived at about 11pm in this town. After finally finding a hotel I was hungry. My travelling companion wasn't but she accompanied me to the hotel restaurant. This was the only meal that we didn't eat the same.

I woke up in the morning a little under the weather but I made it out. Two hours later I had to go back. I laid down in bed and didn't move for two days. Except for a million trips to the loo. I had an horrendous fever and while I was technically conscious I slept for most of it. Luckily she was there to fetch and carry water for me.

By the way, some may have seen this, but I have a photo. A rather special photo. Think tubgirl but more extreme. If you want to see it let me know and I'll email it.

Eventually, with very good timing, I could make it out to see something and back for the toilet. Sometimes It got a bit close. One of the benefits was I had cold sweats. While everyone else baked in 40 degree weather I felt bloody freezing. My own personal airconditioning!

We were at one temple and I simply had to go. This meant using the public toilet. OMFG.

Cubicle 1: guy stood in the door pissing on to the floor nowhere near the hole.

Cubicle 2: sheets wedged down the hole causing a flood.

Cubicle 3: no discernible reason for the flood but I wasn't going there. To be honest it was a 'maybe'. I'd come back to it in a crisis.

Cubicle 4: shit. Everywhere. On all six surfaces.

Cubicle 5: closed.

Cubicle 6: not too bad. Just. Thank fuck.

Anyway, after a week nothing had changed. So off we went to the doctor. Imagine that Indian restaurant but with a single curtain halfway down. Benches this side full of dudes.

They all waved me to the front. Such nice guys. You know an Indian is proper Ill when he goes to the doctors. It's taking time away from him earning money and trust me when I say every five minutes they're away from work they risk malnutrition.

As I'm sat there I can see there's a pregnant woman in there and the doctor has a young girl assistant of maybe 14 years old. Next to me is a table covered in tablet foils. No boxes. Just foils.

I'm going to paraphrase now:

Doctor: Girl! Get me blah!

Girl comes to the table, gets a glass vial like Europe had prewar and breaks the top off before putting her thumb on it. Presumably for infection control purposes but forgetting she used her bum wiping hand (yes, they differentiate. Oh the faux pas).

Eventually I get called in.

Doctor: what are your symptoms?

Me: diarhoea, fever, lethargy...

D: you have pain?

Me: umm...yeah a bit.

He begins to write.

D: OK. You take this for the pain, this for the fever...

Me: but what about what's wrong with me?

D: yes. You take this for the pain, this for the fever...

A week later I was still ill. Surprise! Off to the doctor we go. To be fair this one was better. He spoke better english and even had a proper office. And a nurse. Dirt a farmers field would be jealous of but still...

Nope. Nothing got better.

I was supposed to be in India another 5 weeks. What do I do? I'll tell you. I went to Bangkok where the nurses were outstandingly gorgeous. Oh, and I got cured. 3 weeks I'd been ill, it cost me €120 and 10 kilos in weight. I'd been trying to lose that weight for years.

India: the best diet in the world.

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