Getting Sick on the Road

A lot of people asked if we became sick while traveling, so while it wasn't horrible, we both did have our share of a few ailments but I like to think our stomachs are pretty good to adjusting, having grown up  overseas and used to eating street food.

Bali, Indonesia:  Sabeen and I decided to rent a moped to explore the island and the plan was to just get one and share like the locals...actually the locals manage to get 5 or so people on one but we decided what the heck and the price was good.  The moped looked solid and it was automatic, so wouldn't have to mess with gears.  I hopped on it, seemed comfortable.  Here was my mistake, I should have test ridden it, especially with the two of us on it.  Instead, I paid the guy, Sabeen got on the back and we were off, almost anyway.  I didn't start off so well, the traffic was bad, so weaving in and out was impossible.  I somehow managed to get to the end of the road and stopped at a red light.  I was nervous, so as the light turned green, I gave it gas, maybe a little to much, and the bike went with Sabeen barely holding on and me trying to stop it.  Luckily, we ran into a curb, where a concerned policeman came running over and shut off the engine.  Embarrassingly, I walked the moped back to the shop owner, who refused to refund me the money as my 10 minutes of riding had apparently equated to the entire day's rental money.

Bardia National Park, Nepal:  Sabeen drank a whole glass of really suspicious water that was partially brown and tasted of dirt.  We had just arrived after a hellish 19 hour journey on Nepali buses and were tired and hungry.  Normally, the water that has been served to us is fine but this one looked strange.  Sabeen asked the kid serving us if it was OK and he gave the approving nod, so down it went.  After an hour or so, Sabeen started feeling nauseous and having stomach cramps.  Shortly, she started throwing up, which continued throughout the night.  After two days, finally went to the only clinic in town run by USAID.  There was no electricity but the man acting as the pharmacist did have a flashlight.  He suggested taking the pill before giving a shot, which we prayed wouldn't be necessary given the conditions.  The pill worked and happily the shop owner making fresh nan (bread) next door invited us all to dinner.  (Afterthought)....Incredibly, I drank two glasses of this same water and was fine.

Karakol, Kyrgyzstan:  Both of us had gone to the hot springs in the mountains and so on the way down, no one was able to take us down, as there were only 3 of us at the lone mountain lodge.  So, Sabeen and I hiked the 14 kms back down in snow/ice to town in the only cold weather gear we had, which was a pair of sneakers, a wind breaker, two shirts underneath, and a wool hat.  My feet were completely frozen, especially the left one and my shoes had shrunk as the previous night I had put them too close to the wood stove and the front had sorted melted.  The combination of the frozen foot and the half melted shoe, resulted in me eventually losing my left toenail.  It bothered me until Israel, as I didn't have the pain threshold to pull it out, where it eventually fell out on its own in Egypt.

Turkey:  Since, I've been wearing a lot of my sandals, my heels have been taking a beating from being constantly exposed to the elements.  I developed deep cracks in both of them, which would start bleeding and hurt like hell.  I applied skin moisturizers but wasn't able to keep a regular regimen, so the problem would resurface.  I resorted to wearing my sneakers but that would get annoying from having to wash socks all the time and the fact that they were slightly misshapen.  This problem (meaning my heels) plagued me the most during our travels.

Singapore:  Ironically, one of the cleanest countries, where we had the worst case of bed bugs at a dorm near Little India.  I developed a rash on my hand, which spread to my legs and back.  It turned out to be some kind of Eczema, which I might have developed from using cheap soaps purchased throughout.

All in all, not too bad.  We had travel insurance but thankfully really didn't need it.

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