In sickness and in health, till March do us part

Trip Start Dec 11, 2012
Trip End Oct 17, 2013

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Flag of Austria  , Salzburg,
Friday, February 22, 2013

Day 1

"You!" I pointed at Gigi, clutching my cup of witches brew (special homeopathic tea prescribed by the pharmacist, who refuses to hand out anything stronger, even when when weepingly assaulted with death threats. My own, not hers) to my chest. "You've made me sick."

To explain, Gigi had bronchitis the previous week, as well as Frankel (they swear it's unrelated, but the rest of us have our doubts). As Europe doesn't believe in opening windows and we are forced to rely on our sketchy ventilation for "fresh" air, germs are all around, like love in the 60s - with similar consequences.

A throat tickle might not be much to get worked up about, but I KNEW - from previous experiences I just knew....

Day 2

"God, you didn't look that bad this morning!" Mr Broody Cool It Boy eyed me at supper. I had made the fatal mistake of taking a nap in the afternoon and had woken up drenched in sweat, shivering and with a face that looked like a pale bullfrog. "Wait," Gigi instructed and came back with an armful of medication. I lifted my head from the table. "None of that homeopathic shit they give at the pharmacy," she sneered. Being me, I immediately took one of everything.

What followed was a blurry night of visions, of desperately ordering soups and trying not to breathe on them, of being upbeat with the two small red headed English boys, who I showed how to fold a serviette into a shirt, and occasionally clutching countertops to stay upright. Do not feint! You have picked up too much weight for anyone to lift your dead weight with dignity.

At 10.30 Gigi grabbed me, felt my forehead and sent me off to bed. I was greeted with a door plastered with sticky notes, curtesy of one of our favourite guests, who had also left a box of biscuits. For added measure I took another paracetamol before bed. The room took a good few seconds to stop spinning.

Day 3

Claudia now has rings under her eyes, as I sleep at the same decibel level as a tractor, due to my inability to breath.

I bravely attempt to speak to my guests with a blocked nose and inflamed throat. The result of which sounds vaguely like this: "Cin I uffer you sometin' t >desperate gulp for air< drinnn...k?" And seeing as it's officially Netherlands week (our busiest week in February) I have to speak Afrikaans to most of our guests, which isn't exactly an easy language on the throat at the best of times.

A man on my table 22 is sick in bed with the flue... Coincidence?

Day 4

Woke up to Claudia rolling me over so that I wouldn't breathe my germs over onto her side of the bed.

Our old school friend Danny came to visit us. She and her mom are also backpacking through Europe and made a quick stop over to say hi. Of course we took them on the grand tour of Hinterglemm and introduced them to the joys of Kaiserschmarn and hot chocolate and rum.

Klara, our hippie waitress, tried to transfer good energy to me by clutching my arm with a concentrated look on her face for 2 minutes. I tried very hard to keep a straight face.

Day 5

"Du siehst aber scheiße aus." You look like shit. "Thanks, Frankel." After bravely swallowing my fistful of medication, I make the cardinal rookie error. I add rum to my hot chocolate. We were in for a fuzzy few hours...

Day 6

Free day. Exhausted, I finally get to spend a day in bed and discover that we have another 20 channels on our tv that we never knew about before. How were we to know you could go further than the nine buttons?

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Suzanne on

Can only hope you are feeling better! Thanks for the entertaining updates. Xx

Dudley on

Go and see a doctor. Surely you are entitled to sick leave. It sounds like a labour camp in Siberia.

Claudia on

Just read about your ordeal....sure hope you are better by now. THis bug is all over the world....lots of it here in Michigan too! See you in CT in December, wanting to hear all about this great adventure!!

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