Memoirs: Travelling

Travelling: A Really Sick Pup

You’re in Thailand and it’s a smidge too exotic for your feeble English bowels. You’re sweating impressively persistently even when sitting in the shade. The locals are wearing thick denim jeans and long-sleeve shirts. They’re habitually fingering their belly buttons and tossing oily woks over hot stoves in unison. They don’t seem to be sweating at all. Why the fuck not… You’re sat panting in a stained ‘Bintang Bali’ wifebeater and some imitation Liverpool shorts. You smell. You’ve got your new Roy BonTM sunglasses on. Asian you has exquisite taste.


Your body wants a drink, so you kindly oblige. You should obviously buy some bottled water. Having a mild nervous breakdown, your mum made you buy a Lonely Planet travel guide to South East Asia before you went. It cost you £20 and all of the information it gives you is available online anyway. It greatly emphasised the need to drink only bottled drinks in this part of the world. And yet a cheeky sense of victory washes over you as you order a mango lassi, because your eyes awoke from your gormless, soggy facial features for long enough to let you know that they do lassis here. As a pudgy white tourist in Roy bloody Dons, you’re not supposed to subject your precious insides to the Asian water. Lassis are just ice, which is obviously just unbottled water in a frozen form.


As someone who already suffers with IBS and runny-bottom syndrome, you’ve made this naughty decision on several occasions now, and it’s only right that you should pay the price for your relative intrepidity. Arriving in Koh Samui for a week of watching predatory older Thai ladies try to fuck your handsome mate, your visit rapidly deteriorates as your stomach starts to begrudge you and your taste in lassis.


Time to enter the purgatory. This is a purgatory of your pasty, doughy body being POV sodomised from the inside-out by an aggressive tropical infection. You spend a few soulless days, bed-ridden and sobbing, as foul rusty water explodes out of your poor arse every twenty minutes, 24/7. You can’t eat anything – even plain crisps – and you lose around half a stone as your friends go out to eat and piss about on the beach. You cry a bit and mourn the loss of your digestive system. Then you phone mum and dad and they actually seem more worried than you are, which renders your chat counterproductive. You return to your sweaty prison bed and chastise yourself on the inside for not just having bought a nice, corporate Coke. ‘The inside’ is, by this point, an unchartered nebula of emotional stresses alongside the less abstract traumas of food poisoning.


Several days pass like this. One night at around 3am you decide that you can’t handle the hunger any longer, so you walk alone to the local 7 Eleven, where you buy the plainest thing you can find – Thailand’s answer to Pom Bears. As you walk home you are hassled by a hefty transvestite prostitute on a tiny moped, who begs you to let her take you home. After telling her to fuck off a few times she lets out a manly roar and ‘peds it into the distance looking like Yogi Bear on a tricycle. This is finally the start of your rebirth, marking a triumphant road to recovery and relative faecal normality.

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