Traveling Blues

Ended up staying in Roatán a few days longer than I thought I meant to, due to meeting people and partying.
Got invited to an impromptu local party (taxi had to drive along the beach to get there!)
Later in the night, us gringos wanted to go back to his hotel to wind down. We invited whomever to come, and lo and behold, two working girls (ok, one tragic queen, one equally tragic actual girl) got in the cab with us. We spent the rest of the night coming to the realization that they were hustlers, and were going to be sorely disappointed in their lack of catch that particular night… neither the other gringo nor I were biting. Morning finally came and we sent them packing. Of course, they needed cab fare home. Much more than was reasonable, but to avoid a loud fight that would wake up the other guests and owners, we just gave them some cash to be rid of them. Another lesson learned.

Caught the early ferry back to the mainland, cab to a bus to San Pedro Sula, then a chicken bus towards Lake Yojoa. I was headed to a hostel / microbrewery some fellow travelers had told me about. An Oregonian (thus the brewery) had married a local woman, and started this thing near the pretty lake. Before I tell you about this place, though, prepare to be grossed out. That´s right, I got my first food poisoning for this trip. Ironically, I had just finished bragging to someone about how strong my stomach was and had been fine with all the crazy things I’d eaten down here. But that day, I was hot and stressed from all the traveling that day, so on the bus, I bought one of the snacks on offer – a homemade cream ice fruit thing. All the locals were eating it, so couldn’t I… ?

It felt cool and refreshing, but about an hour after eating it, I began to feel cold. Then I got really cold, and flushed. Teeth chattering. Achey and numb all over. Intense headache. Fortunately no impulse to shit at this point, I don’t know what I would have done – I guess gotten off the bus and shit by the side of the road! I think the Bonamine I had taken that morning for the ferry ride helped with not feeling nautious on the bus. That stuff is amazing (thanks for adding it to my pack, Mom!). Anyway, we eventually made it to the hostel (this place is tricky to find.. “ask the driver to stop after you see the soccer field after the bridge over the creek..” ).
Just as an aside, customer service is not Honduras’ strong suit. The woman hemmed and hawed about giving me a room, even though it turns out they had one free. I think she just couldn’t be bothered. And that’s not the first time I’ve had to cajole a proprieter into giving me what they’re supposedly in the business of selling, whether it’s a meal at a restaurant or a room for the night. And forget about smiles, or thanks for coming. Oh, no. You’re lucky to even get served.

Finally making it to my room (with my own bathroom, yes!), I put every stitch of clothing I own on and crawl under the covers, still freezing. Two hours later, I wake up drenching in sweat. Now I’ve got a serious fever; I strip off everything, and throw the windows open. I make sure to drink plenty of water, take what few probiotics I have left, along with plenty of vitamins and pain killer. Go back to bed. This alternates for the next 12 hours. Eventually by morning I’m feeling better, although seriously weak, and still pissing out my butt. [Shall I go into more detail?]

The only other time I’ve had food poisoning in my life was in Edinburgh a few years ago when we were premiering a new piece that I was lighting. I had tuna tartare for lunch, and upon commencing work in the afternoon, began the exact same symptoms. It’s rather hard to direct a crew of 10 technicians (let alone have the mindspace for creative design) when one is running to the toilet every 5 minutes! The best part was when one of the crew mentioned that he had had the tuna tartare at that same cafe the day before and the exact same thing had happened to him. UMM, SO WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL THE RESTAURANT THAT THE TUNA WAS BAD SO THEY WOULD STOP SERVING IT, DUMB-ASS?!

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