Monday, October 26, 2009
A taxi ride across Medan, my least favorite city in the whole wide world.
I got diarrhea. There were the first hints of it a few mornings ago, but then I was fine throughout the day. Then after we were done with dinner and talking around the table with some fellow travelers, it came knocking. Conversation was dying down to begin with, but I didn't feel that I had the time to leave politely, so I simply asked for the key to the room and hurried back. I spent the whole night with alarms like that. I kept drinking fluids, and they kept finding the path of least resistance through my body. I didn't feel sick, so it was only an inconvenience of having to sit on a toilet so much. I was worried, however, because the following day we had more than 20 hours of travel planned. In the morning, I drank only enough to slake my thirst, and ate only bananas and crackers to nourish me for the day's journey. And what a journey it was. We were heading from an inland lake to an island on the very northern tip of Sumatra. It took a ferry ride, followed by a taxi, local bus, taxi, motorcycle taxi, mini-bus, large night bus, taxi, ferry, and one last taxi. Somehow, I didn't have to use the bathroom until the following morning, but I used it well.
We've now been in our island paradise for a few days now. Life is simple here. We either read, snorkle, or eat--all three are amazing here. We have a rickety bugalow overhanging the shore, from where we can peer into the shallow sea and see schools of fish floating by. Our bathroom is a small shack in the rear, and our toilet is a hole in the floor connected to a pipe down to the rocks. Like I said, life is simple here. There is electricty, but only half the time, but you only notice its absence when you need things like the internet. Chad has to go back to Thailand in a couple days, but Miles and I don't know how long we'll stay.