My Thailand Tale Part 2
Last week we brought you part 1 of this scholarly tale letting you know a few pointers to look out for when traveling. Here is part 2 that will present to you the aftermath of mistakes made in Part 1.
Click here to read up on what happened in Part 1
The shrill ringing of our hotel room telephone rips me from my drunken coma. I squint my eyes over at my very worried friend nodding on the phone and convincing the person on the other line that we’ll be right down.
I’ve completely forgotten that we scheduled a boat trip to visit 2 different islands today.
I really want to cancel and forfeit the payment of the trip; I doubt that they’ll offer a refund because we’re too hungover to go. Judging by the pallid color of my face in the mirror as I brush my teeth and run a comb through my hair, I really think we should probably just skip the boat tour, but there’s no time to really think, and we rush out the door with bikinis and towels in hand, forgetting about half of the things we probably need for the day’s activities.
We climb into the back seat of our transport van, spilling apologies to our driver and other passengers who were kept waiting because we overslept. (No doubt they smell the alcohol from last night still lingering about us and don’t have to stretch their imaginations much to wonder why we overslept.)
The other passengers are chipper the whole ride to the port, but my friend, Amanda, and I are quiet in the backseat the entire ride. I’m secretly hating myself for the hangover that I know is no doubt on its way – every bump in the road reassures me that it’s going to be the worst day of my life very soon.
I try to smile and force myself to pump up and get excited about the boat trip. After all, we’re heading to the islands where they filmed one of the James Bond movies. (I honestly couldn’t care less about James Bond and his stupid adventure right now, but I’m doing my best to act excited as our tour guide explains all of the impending fun.)
We’re inches away from boarding the boat now. Amanda has taken on a bit of a greenish gray color. At least I’m not alone in my miserable hangover, but you know, something just doesn’t quite feel right.
This is either the holy mother of all hangovers or something else is at work here. I can feel my body breaking into a cold sweat, yet somehow I’m shivering. I look over at Amanda as we board the boat, taking seats closest to the front of the boat. We both try to force a smile, wanting the other to have fun and not realize how sick we’re actually feeling.
But, we know. We’re both the same sickly color, sweating all over, and shivering. Something isn’t right, but I can’t really remember what could have made us sick last night other than the copious amounts of alcohol we decided to partake in last night.
Oh, Judith, focus. The captain is speaking and going over our safety rules.
There are about 10 people on the boat, including Amanda, the Captain, and myself. Everyone else is giggling as they take the life jackets being passed around. I feel guilty for resenting their smiling faces, but I can’t help it. I kinda wanna punch them for feeling so healthy today.
Amanda and I are the last to slip on a life vest. Now that everyone is settled, the captain goes over the last of the day’s instructions.
He stands regally in the center of the small boat as all the passengers are seated in a circle around him on wet, cold seats. Two very large, very orange trash cans are in the center of the boat next to him, which we should use to throw away our snacks and drinks so as to keep the boat clean, the captain tells us.
“And if anyone of you should happen to get seasick,” the captain looks around the boat and giggles while the rest of the passengers laugh along at his joke, “then we have some seasickness baggies right here.” He points to a stack of black bags.
All of a sudden, Amanda jumps up and runs over to snatch up a black bag. The whole group laughs at how funny this female comedian is, and it actually would have been a very good prank for Amanda to pull because the whole boat was up in laughter.
It would have been, that is, until Amanda begins releasing the entire contents of her stomach into this tiny little bag.
Laughter turns to shrieks as people realize that this is absolutely not a prank. In fact, people are literally pulling away from us, bunching up in the farthest corner of the boat.
It might tip if more people had showed up to this terrible event, but I’m sure the rest of the hungover people that were supposed to come today stayed in bed like smart travelers.
Not Amanda and I. No. Not only have we decided to stay after she vomited all over the boat (and the poor man sitting next to her in her splash zone), but we’re trying our best to act like nothing is wrong. Or, at least I am.
We’ve already left the port (despite a few dirty glances from the family who is convinced we’re a bunch of foreign heathens). I keep saying I feel fine during the entire boat ride to the first island, but I’m dying and the rocking waves are making me sleepy and ill all at once.
I decide to close my eyes for just a bit, and guess what? I freaking pass out. Amanda shakes me awake, and for some reason I look her in the eyes and tell her I don’t want a prickly pear.
There are no prickly pears in sight, but the Amanda in my dreams wanted me to eat a prickly pear so I feel the real Amanda should know my stance on prickly pears as well.
She’s trying not to laugh because she knows I’ve just fallen asleep so deeply that I was dreaming while sitting straight up on a moving boat.
I don’t laugh. Not because I don’t find the situation funny, but because I realize I now too have to throw up.
I swallow hard, and do my best to walk calmly to the boat’s bathroom (which is literally just a room with a tiny toilet) so that no one will suspect I’m about to hurl too.
Once in the safety of the little closet, I become sicker than I ever have in my life. I’m trying my best to keep my head low because the boat is rocking so hard that I’m worried I’ll vomit outside the stupid bowl, but that’s an awful idea because the smell coming from me is almost like …. rotted effing fish.
And this is when it hits me: Amanda and I aren’t hungover. We’ve got freaking food poisoning from that little old smiling lady’s fish stand. I immediately want to cry because I know that the next 5 days of our Asian adventure trip will most likely be stuck in bed with water and ramen.
No more Anthony Bourdain foodie adventures, no more drinking escapades, and definitely no more fish stands.
Long story short: Amanda and I definitely had food poisoning, and we did stay in bed the rest of our trip, venturing out only a few hours a day to make ourselves feel better.
After Thailand, we went to Singapore for a few days. While we were there during our very last day in Singapore we did eat turtle soup and frog porridge, which didn’t taste too great, but at least it didn’t get us sick.
So, what’s the moral of the story? Never eat from abandoned food stands, and for god’s sake, don’t think that eating disgusting food makes you Anthony Bourdain. (Because believe me, I know first hand that’s a dangerous and stupid thought.)
There are two sides to every story! Curious what Amanda’s thoughts are about our Thailand horror story? Check out her side of the story (and traumatizing pics) here.