March 1, 2012
Just a short, funny story for you to enjoy (at my expense) …
On our final night in Lima, our G Adventures guide took us out for a lovely anticuchos supper ( similar to kebabs). I hadn’t been feeling well since Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu. It seems that traveler’s diarrhea had taken a hold. We were at a restaurant that is very well known for it’s anticuchos and I didn’t want to miss out on the great local food, so I ordered chicken with corn. Yummy! It really was a great meal. I was careful not to over eat because my tummy was upset, but none-the-less, I needed food!
After supper we took a short walk around the area and then Andres (our guide) hailed a group of cabs for us so we could head to our next ‘surprise’ destination. He wouldn’t tell us where we were going, just put us in taxis and off we went.
Lori and I were in the back seat of the taxi having a nice little conversation. I remember very clearly that we were driving down a main highway when the attack came!
My tummy started to grumble at me. I continued my conversation, but it got more laboured to speak.
For anyone who has ever suffered from IBS or traveler’s diarrhea, you understand the panic that comes over you when you have to go to the bathroom immediately. Ok, I can already hear some of you laughing! I know it has happened to you. When I say immediately, I truly mean it. There is no warning. There is no spare time. In fact, if I was sitting comfortably in my living room at home, I might not even make it to the nearest bathroom! It is immediate. It is an attack!
In the middle of my conversation, in the middle of a sentence … I stopped talking.
Then a moment later I told Lori … ‘I’m sorry I can’t talk right now. I think I need a bathroom.’
This, however, was a problem as we barrelled down the huge highway with no idea where we were headed. What was I going to do? How would I ever tell the taxi driver (in my extremely broken spanish) that I needed a bathroom immediately? And, even if he pulled over to the side of the highway, it isn’t like that was going to do me any good!
Bless her heart, I remember very clearly Lori saying ‘It’s ok Shari. Is there anything I can do? Do you need to hold or squeeze my hand?’.
It took everything I had in me to concentrate on breathing through the pain and quite honestly, to hold it in so I didn’t have an accident! I am not exaggerating! I closed my eyes and breathed, just hoping and praying that we got to our destination soon and that there would be a bathroom. Lori understood and sat in silence.
After a few excruciating minutes, the pain subsided, the emergency lessened and I was able to breathe almost normally .. Still very aware that it would likely come again!
We exited from the highway and in to a sketchy area of town. The taxi driver immediately told me to put my phone and camera away, roll up the window and lock the door. Like I needed the shit scared out of me at this point! (ha ha ha)
He didn’t have to tell me twice, that’s for sure! Just looking out the window at the characters on the street made me want to move to the middle of the car and cower!
We arrived safely, and miraculously, the urgency had passed. I didn’t feel the need to rush to a bathroom at all. And good thing, because I think most people were just using the sidewalk as their ‘stall’.
Just another adventure in my travels … traveler’s diarrhea – attacks in taxi.