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The original world nomad "Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance." - Confucius.

Darkness in Antigua

GUATEMALA | Friday, 11 December 1998 | Views [2997]

I was on the third tortilla when the world began to spin. I had just enough time to think "I'm going to throw up or pass out" so, not wanting to offend the lady at whose stall we were eating, I stood up. Gravity did the rest as my consciousness disappeared down a long black tunnel.

Struggling up off the hard cobbled streets, a policeman on one arm and Yuki on the other, surrounded by a hugely excited crowd. Shiny white skull gleamed through my matted hair as blood oozed down my neck.

Hospital. I.V. Stitches. Anti-biotics. All very clean and efficient.

Hours later as we left the hospital grounds, a taxi driver offered us a lift. Even though it was 3am, we didn't think anything of it until the soldier guarding the entrance to the hospital asked the driver for ID. He disappeared in a flash. There was no taxi: it was a kidnap scam preying on the most vulnerable.

For once, I was very, very relieved to have taken out travel insurance on the day we left. As it turns out, we still didn't have to use it ... but it was a great relief to know that it was there.

Looking back, it makes you realise how vulnerable you would be on your own. Money, passport, camera, bags: all would be gone in a flash. Passing out isn't something you every really think about; it just happens.

Tags: accidents, danger, doctors, food, health, hospitals & health, travel insurance


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