Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Today's Travel Tips...

TRAVEL TIP #1:  Do not patronize a questionable Chinese buffet the day before a trip.

I don't know if it was the Manila clams in a jalapeno infused sauce or the Asian man who stood next to me at the airport, turned to me, and sneezed violently without even attempting to cover his mouth.  Either way, I'm almost sure it was something Asian that caused me to come down with violent stomach pains and a fever yesterday afternoon.

Fortunately, I'm staying with friends.  Still, one hates to inconvenience people.  If your host is looking forward to spending time with you (and WHY would you impose yourself on someone who didn't?), it's a downer for all concerned when you fall ill.  I once fell ill for three days while visiting my friend, Anna, in California.  She was dog sitting for a small German Shepard named "Dave" who slept with me the entire time.  Anna threatened to post my "slutty" behavior on Facebook:  My friend came to visit me and has spent three days in bed with Dave!

The thought of getting ill on the road is what deters some from traveling solo.  Of course, when you're staying with friends, there is a sense of security.  But I've come down with some serious maladies in parts unknown without anyone to turn to.

Case in point:  Dominica.

Dominica is also a travel tip entitled "How not to get cheated by a travel guide", but that is for another blog.  At any rate, my guide was taking me to those off-the-beaten-path locations that the more adventurous traveler seeks out (read "cliffs with 10" footholds".)  We were also patronizing all his friends' establishments (read "kickback").  One of his friends owned a street cart where, my guide assured me, they served authentic Dominican food.  Having had at least one stomach-churning experience with a food cart in Thailand, I hesitated.  But the chicken and rice he suggested sounded safe enough.

After giving my guide (too much) money to purchase our meals, he proffered a plate of rice that contained small bits of chicken and a multitude of tiny bones.  At first I thought this was some kind of mistake.  My guide assured me this was how the locals ate, and proceeded to prove it by crunching a mouthful of his own bone-laden meal.  Not wanting to offend his culture, I decided to try it.  The guide looked upon me with disgust a few mouthfuls later as I started to pick through the plate, claiming lack of hunger.

That night my stomach felt like someone was tattooing it from the inside out.

Shortly after I returned home, I was hospitalized for a week with internal bleeding.

Next time, I will culturally offend.

So - two lessons learned.  1. You are not the host of Bizarre Foods (who must have made a pact with the devil vis a vis his stomach.) and 2. While it is even less pleasant than having a tooth pulled, you can survive being sick while traveling solo.

And now I bring you....

TRAVEL TIP #2:  Wrap any electronic plug you intend to use publicly in a distinctive manner.

Guess which of these plugs is mine?  If you said the ones with the colorful zig zag tape affixed to them, you'd be wrong.  Mine is one of the plain white ones.  Ahhhh...but WHICH white one?  Get my drift?  The gal who taped her plugs in circus colors is never going to have an argument with anyone about which one is hers.  She is also going to be able to see at a glance if someone snitches hers.  Or accidentally exchanges her brand-name iPhone plug for a dollar store knock off that will last a month, max.

Good idea, Colorful Tape Gal!  I will be using your idea in the future.

Route 65 signing off.  No longer sick in Portland, I continue my search for the weird.  Tomorrow, I reveal some hints of its existence.


Irene said...

Oh, NO!!! Hope you're feeling better now, sweetie! Good blog. I will never travel again.

Route 65 said...

LOL! Thanks, Irene. Although frightening off other travelers is the antithesis of the reaction I would hope for, I'm open to being the one-stop source for vicarious experience. :-)