Purple projectile vomiting in Peshawar, yes I ate a kebab

by Dave from The Longest Way Home ~ December 6th, 2007. Updated on April 20th, 2009. Published in: Travel blog » Pakistan.

Travel Journal Overview: Travelers get sick, it comes with the territory. Purple vomit though? Not happy. Recoverable like most things. Watch a few movies and plan …

Great Kebabs in Pakistan ...

Great Kebabs in Pakistan ...

After returning to the Rose from the Afghan camp I was surprised and happy to see that for once there was piping hot water in my bathroom. My throat was a little sore and I felt like I was coming down with a cold.

I came out from the shower and passed by a mirror. I stopped in slight shock, I looked 7 months pregnant. My stomach was quite swollen.

30 minutes later I was back in the bathroom on the squat toilet. Mild diarrhoea.

30 minutes later again and I was passing water.

I burped and and the kebabs from the afternoon repeated. Bugger. I lay down and waited.

By 1am I was projectile vomiting and shooting from both ends. And as anyone knows, in a squat toilet that’s not nice.

Projectile vomiting in Pakistan

Projectile vomiting in Pakistan

By 4am I was out of water, the reception was closed and I was getting dehydrated. Nothing would stay down, or in.

By 6am I finally fell asleep, but was up by 8am thanks to texts from Ifzal. I headed down to reception and got two bottles of water and a sprite. The vomiting had at least past. Though I noted in the bathroom where the projectiling was commited the night before the tiled wall was now a strange shade of bright purple. Not good.

Henna dyed man reading a paper in Pakistan

Henna dyed man reading a paper in Pakistan

That evening Ifzal and Katherine came over. She was leaving for Chitral and her volunteer position the next day. They asked me out to dinner. No thank you to the food. But I headed out anyway. I should have stayed put. Even now they still acted suspiciously. I was really beginning to think something was going on between them.

I headed back and slept.

I met up with Ifzal. I needed money from the ATM and he wanted to know about the trekking. I was not able to think about that yet, my stomach was still on the watery side of solidness. I was weak too, and the fact that 2 ATM’s did not function did not help as we wandered around trying to find a working one. Finally we did. It was during this walkabout I learned Katherine was still in Peshawar and not in Chitral as per her plan. The good news of the day was that my India book had arrived. 400 Rps for a fake 2007 edition, not bad.

I stayed in bed all day. I watched all 6 Star Wars movies, in between bathroom calls. By the evening I headed to the Rose Hotels Restaurant and had my first decent meal, chicken soup and chips. Ifzal arrived with Katherine, she was now planning on leaving tomorrow. He was thinking Sunday was a good day for us to leave for trekking in the North. I tentatively agreed but said it depended really on how I was feeling. I was still not up for eating much, and wanted to enjoy the trek rather than suffer it. Again I felt something strange going on between the two of them. As if they had an agenda, and I was apart of it somehow. I was getting more uncomfortable with the situation. I knew that I was a little paranoid with being sick, but something was not right with them since the start.

I went over to Ifzal house, feeling still none to good, but on the mend. Katherine was there, now that was not a surprise. The bus was due to leave tomorrow morning so Ifzal wanted to get the tickets. I was still seriously uncomfortable with the situation. How to get out?

Bright clothing material for sale in Pakistan

Bright clothing material for sale in Pakistan

That night I got a call from Ifzal, a curfew had been put on all day time buses heading to Chitral, so we would have to take a night bus. And… Katherine would be coming too. This was really beginning to stink.

Another day passed and my stomach was still not right, so I decided it was time for medication. So with Ifzal advice went looking for a good pharmacy. It took a while but finally a located some ciprofloxin. It looked OK and so bought it for about 150 rps. A little later in his fathers stationary shop Ifzal introduced me to a pharmacy supplier that he knows who immediately dismissed my purchase as being fake.

Why is it in developing countries you are always taken to buy something, and then afterwards introduced to someone your friend knows that could have helped you out earlier. Always.

We still did not have the night bus tickets yet. Ifzal’s reasoning as to why day buses were under curfew and night buses were not had something to do with a narrow road and cargo trucks. I really did not buy it. And yes Katherine still had not left. In fact it looked like most of her things were staying in Ifzal bedroom. She was meant to be leaving on the night bus tonight.

Back at the hotel slept for awhile, hoping the medication, fake or not, would start to kick in sooner rather than later. That night I met up with Ifzal and low and behold Katherine still had not left. This really was not helping the situation. She was now meant to be leaving on the 5am bus. The curfew was semi lifted but only for certain hours. I had practically made up my mind, this was far too suspicious, innocent or not. I told them I would text by 3am if I felt well enough to some, but I already knew the answer.

Old wooden door in Peshawar

Old wooden door in Peshawar

That night I made my plan. I would scrap my idea of trekking in north Pakistan, I still had Nepal for trekking an the few days of sickness had eaten away at my precious remaining days. I still had India to go through and if I left in a few days for Lahore I would be able to give myself time to fully recover and time enough for India before meeting up with Paul in Kathmandu for Christmas. I sent Ifzal a text saying I would not be coming in the morning. He Replied straight away, and seemed fine with everything. I guessed that he would not be so happy when I tell him the trek was off.

Finally my stomach was starting to hold it together. I hadn’t eaten much, and was feeling better for it. I chanced chicken sandwiches for lunch and headed over to Ifzal house. And yes Katherine was there. It was blatantly obvious they were an Item, and this was what half the strange looks and mysterious moods were about. I broke the new to them about my decision, and it went relativity well. I added that I would stay an extra day or so in Peshawar to see Bus painting, a monastery and to take advantage of some photo opportunities. Again this went down well. Whether Katherine would be joining us or not was another matter.

Some related links from this website that  you might like: (including a lot more photographs from Pakistan)

Stories: The Pakistani Truck Painters

Stories: The Last Khyber Pass Journey

Pakistan Travel Guide

Resources: How to Guide – Iran to Pakistan overland

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