Tuesday, December 06, 2005

my last 37 hours

well. where to start...

december 5, woke up to a overly sore body. i had planned on getting a massage that morning but as i was lying down i realized that the massage would turn out to be quite painful. i felt like you feel when you have a bad cold and your entire body aches. and then, bathroom runs.

i ate a hearty breakfast of plain toasts and fruit juice (for the vitamins, even though i know all those fibers won't do much good) and headed out to the train station 3h in advance to get my ticket back to bkk. of course, the guy yesterday said that the ticket booth opened 3h before the train departs but he meant to say 30 minutes before. of course! and of course, the train was delayed by over an hour and we had no way of knowing just how much more delay could occur.

for some obscure reason i still sat there 2h thinking i'd wait for the train but after 2h i realized i'd get in bkk way too late (to get a room at my guesthouse) and decided to take the bus instead. so i got on the back of a motorcycle and well, that was a crazy ride! i think i've gotten back my fear of motorcycles now... zooming between cars, busses, lane from lane. very scary! now i know why they suggest that you don't use motorcycle transport in thailand.

anyhow, make it to the bus station, hop on a bus and we get going right away. because i took a 2nd class bus, i was on a bus that piled the isle with thais so the ride was pretty crowded. they had started to show terminator 2 in thai and i was quite interested on knowing what hasta la vista, baby was in thai but they stopped the movie when the isle was so crowded that there was no way that anyone could watch it anymore.

during the ride it started to rain pretty hard (rad, typhoon-like) and the streets got really flooded. but the good part was, it started to rain inside the bus too! i guess that's what you get for ridding a fancy 2nd class bus with air con.

get to bkk, head to the guesthouse where the only room left was a fancy room with in-suite bathroom. i took it because i was lazy, and it turned out to be a great idea later that night.

but before we get to that... i went for dinner right at the corner here and met a cool scottish guy. took him to see the view of khaosan rd and that turned out to be the best thing i could have done. see, yesterday was the king's birthday and so the entire view north of here was of the park, street and palace/temple all light up. you could see the crowd of fans in the park, and it was magical when they all lit a candle to celebrate his anniversary and sing happy birthday. a sea of candles... followed by fireworks. when i say fireworks, i mean insanity. i thought i was lucky in tokyo when i say two firewoks at the same time but now... it seemed like there was one at every 5km for a good 360 degrees. just everywhere! and then, one started right in front of us. big fierworks, non-stop, like the typical closing bit of fireworks back home but this lasted about 20-30 minutes. they were exploding right in front and above us - my neck was hurting from having to look up so much. i had never seen fireworks like that, and i had never been so close them before. very impressive!

after drinking some water on the side of the street and watching khaosan rd go by, i had to head back to my room because i was feeling really bad. i had chills, i was cold, i had fever and i was nauseous.

i went to bed, and fought the fever all night. i kept going back to this same, weird war-like dream about a thai town. i didn't understand the dream or the story, and i've pretty much forgotten all of it but i guess i was fighting in my dream like i was fighting my fever in real life. i also kept waking up and having to run to the toilet - the in-suite was great for that.

next morning, got up late, with too many toilet runs. i tried to eat some plain rice and drink water but neither were going down. and then i had blood in my stool, and decided that i had enough.

i grabbed a cab to the local, public hospital (apparently the best in bkk). i was sent from one window to the other, to the emergency room and eventually to room 122 to see a doctor. i waited 1h to have them take my temperature/blood pressure and 2+ hours to see a doctor. while waiting i looked around and felt really alone. everyone in the hospital had their family with them. kids, sibling, parents. i was all alone. i so wanted to be home at that point... feeling like shit, missing my loved one, dying for some chicken soup from swiss chalet or st-hubert with some Premium crackers (you can't find those here). it was the first time since osaka that i didn't want to be on this vacation. i started to cry in the waiting room, quietly... discretely.

finally i saw the doctor. she wanted me to spend the night in the hospital (read, in the hallway on a bed with tons of old people) but i thought that that would be too depressing and would be quite a waste of the room i was paying for. so she gave me some injections of i don't know what along with penicillin to kill the bacterias causing the diarrhea/nausea/fever/pains etc. then i got more meds to take over the next 5 days.

i couldn't believe though that i didn't have to pay anything to see the doctor or use the hospital services. i only had to pay for the meds (250B, that's $6 for 5-6 different types of meds) which was very cheap.

and now here i am. i am doing much better after those injections, and i actually ate a full meal. i'm taking pills and drinking rehydration salts (that taste alright, as opposed to the ones i brought that tastes like hell - enough that it's undrinkable). hopefully things will get back to normal real fast.

i will take tomorrow as a day of rest and see how things go. i had wanted to go down to krabi tomorrow but now it's not such a good idea... we'll see when i'm up for it.

so. there it is. my last 37 hours. not fun ones...


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