Sometimes as writers, we find inspiration from the posts of our blogger friends. Sometimes, they are profound and sometimes they are about, well, poop. I have no idea exactly who started this topic trend, but here is my story.
A month after my husband and I became engaged, we decided to take a trip to Thailand. We wanted to go somewhere exotic and somewhere that we would never venture, once I got knocked up. I picked Thailand because it gave me a feeling of the forbidden, historical and unexpected, all in paradise. I had spent a summer in Hawaii, traveled all over Europe and been to Mexico and Costa Rica. Not to mention, we spent whole summers in India while I was growing up. This was something quite different. Even though this was probably just as safe with precaution, it felt more dangerous.
Maybe it was all of the movies I had watched and the books I had read. The innocent accused of drug trafficking on National Geographic’s Locked Up Abroad, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason and Brokedown Palace. Brokedown Palace is the reason my daughter’s senior trip will be chaperoned. Two young girls forced into a Thai prison for drugs they didn’t know were in their bag. Well, that and the movie Taken.
Then there was the dream of paradise in the book The Beach, which was shot on an island just off of Phuket. Who wouldn’t want to go to such a paradise, minus the drug traffickers and sharks, of course? Crystal clear waters, smooth sand beaches and a country full of culture.
When we landed in Bangkok after about 20 hours, including layovers, it was clear that we had stepped into a second world country. It’s not as poverty-stricken, polluted and dirty as India, but fell somewhere in-between there and the US. We had a couple of quick moments that resembled a page from one of those books: the military with drug-sniffing hounds at the airport and police with hand mirrors checking for drugs taped under our taxi at the hotel. That was about it, but it did give me a rush of adrenaline because it offered up an unknown possibility. After all, these stories were written based off of experiences. Fiction comes from some fact, right, even if it’s stretched?
We settled into our Sheraton Hotel, which was nicer and cheaper than a lot of 4-star hotels in the US and decided to be careful with what we ate. We only had 10 days there and didn’t want to spend any of it praying to the porcelain god. Most of the time, we ate hot food in hotels, hoping that it would decrease our chances of catching something. I stayed away from the cultural, culinary delights lining the main road, like cricket and other insects. Yuck. No, thank you.
On our last night in Bangkok (yes, I will throw One Night in Bangkok by Murray Head out there, since it’s on repeat in my head now), I did two questionable things. One of my husband’s friends was studying in Bangkok and took us out to watch a band that night. Instead of using a straw, I drank directly from a shot glass. I don’t normally do shots and I’m pretty sure this is why I threw caution to the wind. I also ate a piece of chicken that may have been questionable, offering myself the excuse that it was cooked in a 4-star hotel.
When we arrived in Koh Samui, I was nauseous for two days straight. We still continued to sightsee, spent time on the beach and at the pool and I even got a massage, but it was only 80% fun due to my illness. Then, one night, the nausea escalated and I started to throw up. When you’re in the US, there isn’t much fear in cases like this. We were on a small island, I was throwing up and my temperature was rising. Forget drug trafficking, this was my unknown.
That’s when it happened. One of the few things you just don’t want your boyfriend, fiancée or even husband to be privy to. While I was throwing up, I farted and something extra came out.
Even as sick as I was, I was mortified. I had ruined my favorite, black sundress and that something extra was all over the floor. It’s true that you never know how much someone loves you, until you are sick.
My fiancée (husband, now) helped me into the shower, cleaned my dress in the sink and wiped up the floor. He didn’t complain. He didn’t make disgusted sounds from the smell. He literally cleaned up my s#$&. Yep, I was definitely marrying the right guy.
My fever got up to 103 and I wouldn’t stop throwing up, so he decided to call the front desk and have me taken to the island hospital. He threw me over his shoulder because I couldn’t walk and carried me down three flights of stairs to the taxi.
To give you an idea of how small Koh Samui is, the taxi driver took a left out of the hotel, drove about 50-feet and turned into a small clinic. As sick as I was, we had to laugh. My husband probably could’ve carried me there.
I paid the clinic a few bucks and they took us back to see a doctor. With flies surrounding us, the doctor offered to give me a shot for the nausea. I watched her open the syringe package to make sure it was a clean, disposable needle. We informed her we had brought Cipro from the US, given by our doctor, as a precautionary measure. In this case, it was the smartest thing I did because after three days and almost at the end of our trip, I was finally feeling better.
We had one wonderful, healthy day on the island of Phuket. Then, of course, I got my period. Could have been worse, I guess. My husband could have sat in the next room, while I sharted. We could have ended up in a Thai prison because some couple slipped drugs into our suitcase. I’d say we got pretty lucky.
Now, everytime I wear that dress, we refer to it as the poop dress.
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