Miracle cures, cruel mockery and conversations with goats – today in Fort Cochin…

photoI woke up this morning to the ominous gurgling of my insides and only just made it to the toilet in time to puke up what appeared to be EVERYTHING I’ve eaten since last Wednesday. Crawling back to bed I lay under the ceiling fan in misery and had just nodded off again when the song The River of Babylon inexplicably blasted its way from outside on the street and through my window. It’s not that I don’t enjoy The River of Babylon but it’s perhaps not the best anthem for a bout of food poisoning. I can assure you, the rivers streaming from my person were not particularly holy.

Scowling at such cruel mockery I fumbled for my earplugs but felt the need to puke again, so with one half in my left ear I made it to the toilet, only for it to fall into a pool of my own vomit. Dejectedly I sloped back to bed and listened to the rest of The River of Babylon through one ear before another puke-fest took me back to the toilet. It was then I decided I should probably go explain to my home stay hosts why I hadn’t made it down for my morning egg curry. And ask for some medicine.

Preethy was very sweet as I begged her for paracetemol, but what she brought to my room instead, some ten minutes later, was a mug of hot lime tea. I didn’t like to say that modern medicine would be preferable so I took the tea, had another hurl, then drank it. Thankfully The River of Babylon was now over, but instead a noisy flock of crows had decided to dismantle a garbage truck outside. I listened to them squawking through one ear too, pondering whether I preferred their cries to the roosters who woke me up at 3am every morning in Ubud, and realized I must be really sick if I was actually lying on my back deciding which bird sounds I like best. I waited to barf again, but surprisingly the lime tea worked a miracle.

With half a day gone and in dire need of salt I showered the vomit off my face, plopped my giant jar of Vegemite in my bag and ventured outside to locate some toast. Three cafes into my mission, and after a one-sided conversation with a friendly goat on the street, I finally found some, only to have the butter blob itself unbecomingly in the middle, break the bread and ruin it. Not a good day so far.

The café was pleasant but three bites into my breakfast/lunch, a man turned on the TV and on came Friends in a crackly unintelligible dialect that still managed to draw all six members of bored staff over to watch the one where Monica and Chandler get married. They sprawled on the couches, lit cigarettes and started to pet the dog that walked in, none of which seemed particularly savoury but at least they didn’t see me applying more Vegemite to my breadcrumbs. And at least I’m not vomiting anymore.