A gift from India, or "Back to Stool Days. . "
Trip Start Jan 27, 2008
30Trip End Apr 06, 2009
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A man is entitled to do stupid things every once in a while. After a couple of bottles on my last night in Delhi with my buddies, it was about 4 am by the time I got back to my room to finally sleep. A 9:30 wake-up call wouldn't be all that bad, I guess, but when the phone rang, I looked at the clock and it had come two hours early. I told the desk man that I had said 9:30, not 7:30, and realizing I had no water and was dreadfully thirsty, I did something that is warned against in every travel guide ever written: I drank the tap water. . .
A breeze through customs and immigration, and I was on my plane, but number of strange squishing and gurglings in my gut told me that my gamble with the water tap had been a losing one. In my old neighborhood, I had gotten away with such slips, but apparently when you change hotels for one a couple of blocks away, you are rolling the dice with your health again. Thousands of tiny little Indians started to dance in my gut, breeding with characteristic Indian enthusiasm and profusion, and after four trips to strain over the tiny airplane toilet I realized that I had given myself a nice little parting gift from
Delhi. The kind of gift that keeps on giving. The long line in immigration at heathrow didn't help a bit, I trying to change position standing for the most strategic block should the building pressure decide to come to a head, if you will pardon the expression.
Dressing well while flying always expedites things ( I call this traveling "stealth"), so thankfully the woman at the counter barely gave me a second look before stamping my passport. I had enough time waiting in line to scout out the location of the toilet, so I was safe again, for the moment.
Got my bags, headed out for a quick cigarette, hit the WC again, raced for the underground, and got myself seated for the long hour's ride to Carola's place. Lucky enough for me, the seated position combined with my semi-forced evacuation prior to boarding the tube did the trick. By the time I came knocking on Milady's door, I could have actually lived without a toilet for another say, ten seconds or so. Initial greetings were by necessity truncated, but after another short session in white porcelain, we settled in to catch up for the night.
Now I have said once before that a man is entitled to make a mistake from time to time. The distance from time #1 to time #2 in this case turned out to be remarkably short, as when a plate of blutwurst and smelly french cheese was put in front of me, I ate like a man coming off of a couple of months fasting. What could I do? 2 months in india and one does not get much in the way of sausage or good cheese.
Cheese culture, by the way, contains the lactobacillis bacteria, which, in a healthy gut, one used to the regional strain, may actually help to replenish the nice little intestinal flora that take care of business for one in a timely, not to mention tidy manner. For the belly that has been used to quite different lactobacilli, these little french buggers team up with the tiny dancing children of Shiva already making their home in the deep and dark places they thrive so well in. The result was unpleasant, to say the least. Though my stomach itself rejected much of the food in the middle of the night, with a quick run to the restroom, what came from the lower half was not of this world, and smelled exactly like the french country cheese that had decided to grow itself in my already strained system. I had a nice case of full-blown "sprue-wurst." Again, pardon my choice of adjective.
Note to self: DO NOT Drink Delhi water. You may get away with it once, twice, or many times, but it is like playing with fire. Of course, I already knew that, but dying of thirst with an alcohol level of about 4.0, sometimes one trusts the gods a bit too much.
Note to self: DO NOT immediately indulge in stinky french (or any other) type of cheese when landing back in the civilized world from India. It may taste like heaven, but it will be a slow walk through hell in a few hours.
Okay, so a man sometimes gambles and loses. A course of Tinatazole (for the paramecia), another following course of Doxycycline (for the bacteria), a box of loperamide chewed like candy after each episode, and here I am after a beautiful weekend driving through the south of England, mostly intact. Thank Shiva for the non-prescription status of everything in India.
My next entry will be a little more pleasant with beautiful pictures, I promise. . .