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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

Oy, what did I eat?

COSTA RICA | Saturday, 7 November 2009 | Views [806]

Through my travels, I've shared the good and the bad, so now it's time for the ugly. All three elements are bound to occur (although I hope for mostly the first of three). As I lay here in a dilapidated room in Playa El Coco (situated on the Pacific) I wonder what caused me to get this horrible bout of food poisoning accompanied by stomach pains, fatigue, and diarrhoea. The other night at David's house (in Havana) I had a big lobster dinner and a couple of mojitos, and it was only after then I started feeling bad. Teresita and David's mother ate as well but in an email sent by him today he said they didn't get sick. The flight from Havana to San Jose was really uncomfortable and I could barely move! Last night I tried to eat some french fries and I couldn't...my stomach just couldn't take anything and my appetite was nonexistent. Thinking to myself "if I have to eat another croqueta I'm gonna gag!" After all, Cuban street food is rather dull and tasteless. Last night as I took the bus headed toward Nicaragua I decided to visit Playa El Coco. It's a less frenetic version of Playa Tamarindo and it's rather quiet. There's several restaurants along the main street and a few hotels, but with only a little bit of money until tomorrow I rented a dilapidated room in a shack for $9. You'd think it'd be infested with lice and roaches but I checked the bed carefully and I didn't see anything of the sort scurrying around. However, I was feeling worse! To make matters worse, there was no toilet paper and no toilet seat! This may sound graphic, but I have to share the ugly! My stomach was hurting so bad that I ended up having a bout of diarrhoea in the bush. Thankfully there's a cold shower, so I did the old-fashioned method of "performing bodily functions" without toilet paper. It's hot and steamy in this part of the country, and a cold shower felt amazing even though I was feeling like crap. I must've had like six stools in only a few hours, so then I finally hobbled to the 24-hour supermarket like 50 metres away and got some anti-diarrhoeal medicine; thankfully it's sold by the pill. Barely able to move, this butt-ugly prostitute comes up, gets all close and is like "tu want sexo? tu want sexo?" This girl wouldn't leave me the hell alone, and finally the security guard threw her out. Hobbling back to my room, I immediately took two of the pills while guzzling down a bottle of water. As I learned in Steven Johnson's The Ghost Map (about the cholera epedemic of London in 1854), the best cure for diarrhoea is heaps and heaps of water. As I lay there in my bed, which is little more than a mattress and a couple of sheets, I wonder when this will end. My stomach hurts and even going to the bathroom or walking 50 metres to the market is an undertaking. Hopefully I don't get the runs whilst sleeping...

Waking up I felt a bit better, but I decided to stay an extra night because I wanted to recuperate and I walked to see a bit of El Coco. I strolled around as best I could, going down the brown beach (how El Coco gets its name) and then walking around town for a bit. My stomach was feeling fine enough that I was able to go use the internet and eat a pizza. Feeling that the worst of this has past I hung out at a couple of the restaurants that night and then mostly took it easy. Assuming this ugly bout of food poisoning is over, hopefully I won't have the runs, instead I'll make a run. Nicaragua tomorrow!


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