Turkey : I had been in the country for two months when I caught severe diarrhea. Lucky for me, I had plenty of time to travel so I just stopped in a nice hostel where I stayed put for a week. I even had my own bathroom (small pleasures of life). I was the only guess in the hostel and the host gave me boiled potatoes and flat seven-up once they realized how sick I was.
Tajikistan : We were in our second day of the Pamir Highway trip when my stomach started to hurt really badly. I’m not one to actually look at the itinerary. I had no clue where we were going or what was planned for that day. We are going from villages to villages and surely, I could ask the driver to stop, but you feel bad because there is 4 other people just waiting for you. I was hoping I could make it until we got to the place. We finally stop to pick up a Japanese guy that was cycling across the country. While he folded his bike and the driver packed his bag, I went to do my business behind a rock. Also hoping, that no car or person would come the other way and see my beautiful ass. It was my lucky day! A little parenthesis, the Japanese guy biked from Kyrgyzstan to Uzbekistan with that thing.. UNBELIEVABLE!
We arrived at destination to realized we were in front of a bridge and we had to hike 6 km before getting to our guesthouse. Welcome to Jizeu Valley. I felt lots better since I had gone to the make due toilet. So I follow suite with the Dutch couple (Anna and Ruit), enjoying the beautiful scenery. Ruit offered me a mentos candy. Figuring that I was now feeling better, I took it with pleasure. A couple of meters later, my stomach started rumbling and I thought OMG, I will be so sick, I can feel it. I told the Dutch couple so they waited patiently for me higher up the path. We were at about 2500 meters high, 4 km in and 2 more to go before getting to the guesthouse so there was no way, I was going to be able to hold until then. I had to find a hidden spot, position myself between a few rocks. I was violently sick and realizing I didn’t have any other shorts for the stay. I had to completely take off my shorts if I wanted to stay clean. Here I was butt naked trying to hold on to a few rocks to stay steady, sweating my life away and facing this beautiful mountain view and thinking how ridiculous this whole ordeal was. Wasn’t that I was so sick, I’d be laughing ahead of the whole weirdness of this situation. I was also stressed that someone would come up the path. It wasn’t if I was really hidden from that side. I felt drained and empty, I slowly tried to clean myself as best as I could with the toilet paper (first rule of thumb while travelling in Asia). I also felt embarrassed as the Dutch couple were patiently waiting for me to be finished. I was now able to walk the 2 km left to the hike and more importantly to take a cold shower. We were in an isolated place in the middle of a valley. I only had a few clothes with me as we had to walk 12 km there and back and only staying 2 nights so no point carrying our big backpacks. Dana, the American lady came much later and first thing she said to us : I saw this big pile of shit! Ruit, Anna and I just looked at each other and started laughing so hard, Dana was puzzled. We later explained to her what had happened to me earlier. I knew it wasn’t mine as A) I was behind a few rocks and not in the middle of the path at all. B) mine was more liquid so most likely she came across cow shit.
** The picture you see was my view while I was being sick!
When travelling in those conditions, it’s normal to be sick. We all get it at one point or another. Three Swedish guys we met later on also were so sick. I gave one of them some pills, but they didn’t work on him. They were all pale and looked so tired cuz they were taking turns to the toilet. You’re only wish is that you get a good western type toilet and not a hole in the ground.
In Mongolia, we were mostly in the desert, no rocks to hide behind. Most of the time, my ass was out there in the open. Us girls don’t have the luxury to just stick out of private parts. We need to drop our pants. At one point, I just decided to stop caring about who would see me. I peed behind the car, in front of our tour guide, standing so close and chatting like the whole thing was normal. All the passing cars could see us. There is more important things in life after all. We are all in for the adventure of traveling. If I wanted comfort and luxury then I would have stayed in a five star hotel or stayed home.
My biggest lesson on this trip was to learn to let go instead of trying to retain control on things which are essentially uncontrollable.