I figured from the start that in 6 months of travelling, I’d lose a few days here and there to various aliments. Until now I’d only lost a few days to doonah days, hardly an ailment, but I recently had stack number 3. It was caused by fatigue and a bit of off camber gravel. It was low speed and hardly more than a scratch for damage.
I didn’t do anything about that scratch. That night Ryan and I slept in out bivvies, which turned into little saunas, we were still covered in dirt from the day. Shortly after that some bites right in my underarm that had already been hanging around for a week started to get infected. Four days later my left wrist was sitting 2 inches off my hip when my arm was hanging loose due to the swelling in my underarm. A couple of days later my body came good and the swelling went away (Note: I skipped the details about oozing puss).
Infection number two followed straight afterwards when the little scratch from my stack decided to get inflamed. Initially I decided that my body could again fight it and win, this morning I started taking antibiotics. The problem is that its my leg thats inflamed and doesn’t go well with riding a bike.
I’m in Battambang. Its a reasonable size city without being big. I was staying in a lovely family run guesthouse for a whopping $3 a night, however with no window, no hot water and no TV it wasn’t a good spot to recuperate. I’m now staying in one of those places where they call you sir and charge $11. However cable TV is awesome for helping you stay immobilised. Today cable TV taught me that Japan has a museum for Ramen noodles, CNN should not classify as a news channel, myth busters are starting to scrape the barrel on the definition of a myth and the Russians have nuclear powered ice breakers.
As I checked out of my lovely guesthouse this morning the girl asked where I was going and I had to tell her the truth that I was swapping hotels. She demanded to see my leg then promptly went off to get ointments to clean it up. She returned with a bottle labelled something gin, it also smells like gin.
She must have been one of those people that loves popping other peoples zits (I am not one of those people). She spent 10 minutes squeezing puss from my leg from all directions, when she was done there were serious divots in her favoutite spots. Knowing how tough they breed their women around here I dared not loose face and tell her how much it hurt. . . except once.
While she was squeezing away she kept up a constant dialogue of broken english. “You do nothing, very problem”. and “You go see doctor Cambodia . . . ” followed by an impersonation of the sound of a circular saw “. . . you no want doctor”. At one stage she wanted to lance it open, she pulled out some old hyperdermic needles but the look of panic in my eye seemed to make her put them away again.
So for now, I’m lazing around in bed improving my education from CNN and Fox news. I’m crossing my fingers that things don’t get worse. I’ve been told that the provincial hospital has two international doctors so I can’t be in too bad hands if it all goes wrong.
And for the record, I braved it last night and made it out to see Dengue Fever play a free outdoor gig. My highlights were having a perfect view of stage by being the tallest in the crowd amongst Cambodians and the guys with the ultimate mosh pit accessories, wearing your motorbike helmet in the crowd. Winner.