40 responses

  1. rich (arizona)
    July 18, 2011

    Getting sick like that is always my biggest fear while traveling. My travel is generally in central Europe so the risks are lower but it can happen anywhere and once you get sick you are so helpless and it seems to take so much out of the body I just sleep for 12+ hours after things settle down. Last year I got sick in the US from either a questionable turkey sandwich or Tiramusa made with a bad egg. It was a long day.

    I’ve never noticed the stomach swelling, maybe I was preoccupied to think of that.

    Hopefully that will be the last time you get sick.

    • The Longest Way Home
      July 19, 2011

      Only had mild travelers belly in Europe. Nothing bad at all as you say. West Africa was hellish at times. But, to be fair in Asia it’s not been too bad. And most of the time, as in this case, my fault.

      The stomach swelling thing I think is just me :)

  2. John Wilson
    July 18, 2011

    Yupper,
    I can relate to it all.
    As they say, been there and done that.
    Not the most fun, and usually leaves within a day or two.
    Pepto Bismal Usually worked for me when I was traveling in Africa. Always made suer I had a bottle of that!.
    Be safe, my friend.
    Cheers,
    John D. Wilson

    • The Longest Way Home
      July 19, 2011

      I was going to mention Africa here, but as I’m sure you know, I’m not sure many people could handle that graphic description! It’s a different ball game there at times.

      What I can’t stand are people who belly ache about mild stomach problems. I think most people who fall like flies just have been living in too hygienic kitchens etc. When I see chefs in London etc wearing face masks, hair nets etc. Then compare to the spitting, hacking, smoking, nose picking man on the streets over here. I can see why many get sick before they even eat! We’ve become too sterile for our own good. Que “War of the Worlds” music!

      Safe trip John!

  3. wandering educators
    July 18, 2011

    omg. i am so sorry. i’ve had food poisoning twice, and both times i was (luckily) in the comfort of my own home. i will NEVER AGAIN eat salmon.

    sorry, friend. hope you feel better now! and i am sure you’ll never again eat curried chicken?

    • The Longest Way Home
      July 19, 2011

      Thanks Jessie. No, I won’t eat curried chicken pie again. Or an egg salad sandwich (another story). Both morning eats that ruined a long journey. Hope you are well these days!

  4. Odysseus Drifts
    July 18, 2011

    I had the strangest experience in that I ate all sorts of food in India and never got even the slightest bit sick from it. However, in going to a fancy (and expensive) Indian restaurant in Seoul, I got violent food poisoning. Sometimes it’s just luck of the draw.

    • The Longest Way Home
      July 19, 2011

      Interesting that. I never got sick in India either. Nor The Philippines, until I are in a big branded fast food chain …. then it hit! So yes, luck of the draw as you say!

  5. flip
    July 18, 2011

    get well soon dave!!!

    • The Longest Way Home
      July 19, 2011

      Thanks Flip, already done with it :)

  6. jess
    July 18, 2011

    Oooh…hope you’re well now Dave and continuing on your journey…
    I guess they have pretty strong digestive systems in Thai to be able to eat without worrying about food poisoning there…

    • The Longest Way Home
      July 19, 2011

      Thanks Jess, yes indeed. I think it’s different in many countries when you have been raised there. You build up a tolerance. Hence many others fall to various stomach things etc.

  7. Michael
    July 18, 2011

    Uugh. Dredged up some gruesome memories of my own brush with the runs on my first month away from home, also in Asia. Too graphic. Good thing I wasn’t reading this while having my breakfast. LOL

    • The Longest Way Home
      July 19, 2011

      I was going to be more graphic, maybe it was a good thing I didn’t for the sake of global breakfasts :)

  8. the candy trail … | Michael Robert Powell
    July 18, 2011

    Get well soon, Dave. Great writing. I like that raw edge story-telling. Reminds me of a glorious dysentery session in Pakistan in 1990; the hotel that was “looking after me”, also robbed me … But since then I’ve rarely been sick. Maybe I’ll get something nasty in “the Stans” soon …?

    the candy trail … nomad across the planet, since 1988

    • The Longest Way Home
      July 19, 2011

      Thanks MRP. The Stans ….. hmmm. I Think you’ll be on a lot of fermented things. Maybe some gruel. And a lot of distilled 90% proof things … the 90% should kill anything bad in the food :)

  9. iamthewitch
    July 18, 2011

    Oh no! Doesn’t help that I’m reading this right after a filling lunch. Feeling a gurgle in my throat now :P LOL! Anyway, guess what? During my trip to Bangkok recently, I had a bout of diarrhea on the LAST day itself! Right at the airport! The worst thing was, I was already in line for custom check when my stomach decided to gurgle and asked me to go to the toilet PRONTO! But I couldn’t leave the line and hung on there, thinking that I would be free after the passport check. But NO, there was still ANOTHER line I had to endure for the baggage check. I was literally STUCK in between. It took me all my strength to hold it in until my turn came, before I ran to the nearest toilet! *PHEW* Totally spoiled my plan of shopping at the airport :(

    • The Longest Way Home
      July 19, 2011

      Ouch, at the airport?! That’s horrible too. Those double security points are really annoying either way. Shoes on, shoes off, shoes on … here we go again. All the time you’re getting thirsty for the water you are not allowed carry!

      For what it’s worth, I never found BKK airport any good for shopping. At least not electronics. Maybe colognes and snacks. But even then they seems costly! So I don’t think you missed out on much!

  10. betty
    July 19, 2011

    oh damn this is gruesome (and ru serious it was PURPLE??!) my ex boyfriends new wife’s name is purple.. lol

    id be scared of this in asia as ther e is sometimes really dirty toilets :( luckily when i went- i was fine and didnt get food poisoning.. very lucky!

    • The Longest Way Home
      July 19, 2011

      Yes, the purple was caused by red onion and cabbage. And yes, some toilets here are not so nice!

  11. world is 2 travel
    July 19, 2011

    Really its very horrible to get food poisoned on travelling.Hope your next trip will be great.

  12. Aud
    July 19, 2011

    LOL! I am so sorry to hear about your unpleasant experience Dave. I too have been there. But your descriptive story is the funniest S*^t story I have read/heard in a long time. Not the nicest story but love your comedic slant!

    • The Longest Way Home
      July 19, 2011

      Thanks, I tried to put a humorous twist to it. Otherwise it just gets nasty like the real thing ;)

  13. Tookta the Thai Tour Guide
    July 19, 2011

    Sorry to hear about your negative experience in Thailand. Sometimes it’s good to travel with a Thai person, as they usually know what to eat and what not to eat.
    If you don’t want Thai food, going to 7Eleven is usually the best option, and they have it in every city and town. They have a lot of sandwiches, croissants etc. Not delicious but safe and can make you feel full.
    Especially in stopover place or place where have a lot of tourist (bus station, train station, tourist attraction) sometimes the seller not care about hygiene, because they know the customer just passing through and not come back.

    • The Longest Way Home
      July 20, 2011

      No offense, but I wouldn’t touch a vacuum packed sandwich from 7/11 even if they paid me! Train station is fine, I just shouldn’t have eaten the chicken curry.

  14. Leslie
    July 19, 2011

    Wow- I never thought a bathroom story could be so riveting! How did you have the state of mind to snap photos of those toilets while you were experiencing this extreme stomach distress?! You are a blogger through and through. PS- I can’t believe a pastry did you in. I loved Thai pastries and never had a problem– but I am a vegetarian :)

    • The Longest Way Home
      July 20, 2011

      You know, I had to spend quite some time in that position :) I looked up, saw the hole in the wall, and just reached over to my bag and pulled out my camera :) What else to do?!! ha ha. Yer, those pastries are not my thing at all. It’s the meat no doubt. I’ll go veggie next time ;)

  15. JH
    July 19, 2011

    Ouch! You have a difficult stretch here, hope you have recovered by now and continuing your travel and writing! Do take care and have more rest!

    I haven’t reached a point of food poisoning where both ends of our body are firing away mercilessly and continuously. Although, I did have travelers diarrhea before, it’s like 2 different things!

    Drop me a note when you are visiting SG again! :)

    JH
    http://www.photojournalist-tgh.tv

    • The Longest Way Home
      July 20, 2011

      Yea, happens to most of us mate. Will drop you a note of course. Though it looks like it might be a while!

  16. Sierra
    July 20, 2011

    For some reason travel sickness-related posts are always my favorites. People can be so eloquent about their bodily eruptions.

    Nice blog :)

    • The Longest Way Home
      July 20, 2011

      Cheers, yes, bodily issues can always be a good read :)

  17. bertN
    July 20, 2011

    You have very scary experiences with food poisoning. I had an episode of food poisoning several hours after I ate raw oysters in a seedy-looking resto. I was throwing up from both ends and I was getting weaker by the minute out of dehydration and fear. I had to ask to be taken to the hospital pronto. You are one tough cookie to go through your ordeal without yelling for help. What were you thinking? Useless to seek medical assistance because there was none available or you just think you are a superwoman endowed with immortality? I feel like hiding my face in shame LOL.

    • The Longest Way Home
      July 20, 2011

      Raw Oysters …. now that’s asking for it! :) I was in Pakistan, during emergency rule. Being taken to a hospital was not going to happen without a very big fuss, and a lot of trouble at that time. Had to make do with what I had to hand.

  18. Jasmine
    July 22, 2011

    Ugh, that’s so shitty (excuse the pun). Reminds me of the time I got deathly sick in Mexico after eating spinach – alone, not speaking much Spanish at the time, staying in a dorm with only a shared bathroom. Not cute.

    • The Longest Way Home
      July 22, 2011

      You are the first person I met whose been sick from eating spinach … Not sure how that is possible … so I can only imagine the results must not have been nice! I hear you with the dorm shared bathroom …. really not good.

  19. Jade Johnston
    August 6, 2011

    OMG getting sick and being a solo traveller would be so scary – and depressing. At least when I travel with my partner he can always take care of me when I am sick. But I have never been THAT sick before – thank god!

    Jade Johnston | http://www.ouroyster.com

  20. Simon
    February 23, 2012

    I’m currently on day 2.5 of my own food poisoning experience in northern Laos, coming across this post cheered me up, great description and it reminded me that I’m not alone and made me glad I have a guesthouse with a private bathroom to run back to (didn’t make it on the 1st night tho).

    Felt well enough to have a pizza today (plain, well bland in Asia, semi trustworthy food), it’s stayed down (yay), just a shame that my stomach still doesn’t want anything to solidify yet (boo).

    • Dave from The Longest Way Home
      February 23, 2012

      Sorry to hear that Simon. Hope it clears out soon. Not sure about that Pizza though, plain foods for a few days and you’ll be as solid as a rock again!

  21. aearthr
    July 29, 2013

    thank you for the reminder! i am a meat-lover so i would certainly stay away from meat pastries. Better be safe than sorry!

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