Sick in, not of, Egypt

It was bound to happen. I’ve been living and traveling outside the United States on and off for like two years now. And I’ve only been sick once so far.

My friends hired a boat to sail them around the islands on the Nile across from Aswan, the southernmost city along the river in Egypt. When they got back, they told me the boat man, called Mr. Chillax, had offered to make us all dinner on his boat. After checking prices at a couple other places, the boat seemed like a good deal. We decided to go for it.

A few hours later, the three of us and Mr. Chillax were reclining on a boat on the Nile under the stars eating fish and rice and salads and bread and tahini. It was probably the best meal I had in Egypt, counting the food, atmosphere, and company. Crazy romantic too, except it was all guys.

Anyway, we got back to the hotel, Memnon Hotel, and got to sleep.

And a few hours later, I woke up again, sick this time. I was in and out of the bathroom from about 3:30 until 7:00 in the morning. At 7:30, we had to leave to catch our train, so I just pulled it together and left with the other guys.

The whole train trip was pretty rough. I think I just had my head between my legs through most of it. I don’t remember, really. I made it about two and half hours to the next stop without throwing up, so that was nice. In exchange for that niceness, though, I developed a fever.

Fever and all, we walked around Edfu for five hours or so, looking at the temples, baking under the sun, and then trying to find out how to get to Luxor from there. No one would tell us how to get to the bus station. They all wanted to sell us taxis and charge too much.

A local van finally offered us a cheap ride to the bus station, so we climbed in with like a dozen others. At the bus station, we got in an other van, not a bus, with another dozen Egyptians. This might have been the most cramped ride I’ve ever experienced, especially for a two hour trip.

Thankfully, they had some windows open. I didn’t feel like I was going to throw up, just still had the fever. Plus, we bought some oranges, which tasted delicious and pumped me up with some much needed vitamins.

In Luxor, we found our Boomerang Hostel, and we went out for dinner. I ate a steak sandwich, the first real meal I’d eaten since the fish the night before. I think it was actually the salad that made me sick. That’s what came up when I vomited. The steak sandwich tasted good, though, and made me feel like I was getting something in me that could stick.

Back at the hostel, my friends headed to the roof top for drinks. I planned to join them after I rested on the bed for a minute. The minute turned into 10 hours. I didn’t wake up until I felt better.

So I’ve been sick twice now, but I haven’t once been sick of traveling. The trade still feels worth it.