Still In Chiang Mai (But I’m Alive!)

I finally gave in.

I happily said goodbye to my $4 per night hostel in exchange for a hotel with a private room.

I was tired of waking up in the middle of the night covered in sweat, then groggily stumbling to the shared toilet to get my hair wet so that I could cool down, and getting back into bed with the hopes of  eventually falling asleep again.

No longer would I have to worry about constantly feeling exhausted due to sleepless nights.

I wouldn’t have to use a sink that was constantly clogged with other people’s spit, toothpaste, and hair, where the basin water remained at a level dangerously close to spilling over and onto the ground.

Where the toilets had a sickly, hot smell, and it was a luxury for it to be stocked with toilet paper.

I wouldn’t have to worry about someone charging into my room in the middle of the night because the door doesn’t lock and they wanted a bed to sleep in. Where only moments before, I didn’t have any clothes on.

No more staring at the bunk above me while the blaring music from the tattoo shop seeps into my room, killing any remaining hope I had to get a good night’s rest.

But hey, it was only $4 per night.

I checked into a hotel that’s closer to CAMP so that I don’t have to navigate the narrow streets on a bike late at night. I have my own room, big bed, air conditioning, private bathroom, desk, and even a fridge. There’s a big pool for me to relax in and a “gym” to work out in (it’s really just a treadmill, bike, and bench).

The original plan was to wait for my friend, Pat, (we both played soccer at the University of Oregon) to get arrive in Chaing Mai. We would travel together to Chiang Rai, take the slow boat into Laos, and visit Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang.

But plans changed when I got sick. Like, really really sick.

I feel like my sickness was a long time coming, especially since I made it an entire month in India without getting sick even once. Everyone gets “Delhi Belly” (aka explosive diarrhea) in India. Everybody except for me!

I’m pretty sure that I know what did it. It was the questionable-looking pork in a thick sauce that I ate for lunch. But I ate it because I was hungry and I hate wasting food.

After my sketchy lunch, I checked into my hotel, got my laptop to get some work done, and walked down to CAMP.


MAYA Mall, where CAMP is located

At this point, my stomach  was gurgling and I had to go to the bathroom when I got to the mall.

I settled in to work and my stomach continued to gurgle. Another bathroom break. Ok… that was strange, but I had a lot of work to do and had to push onward.

Six (really not fun) bathroom breaks in four hours and I decided that I had to go back to my hotel. My stomach was cramping and I wasn’t getting much work done because I was constantly running out of CAMP, praying that I wouldn’t accidentally shart in my pants.

My hotel was less than 1 kilometer from the mall, but I took a taxi because I was legitimately afraid that I would poop my pants on the walk back. I was sick all night and I was anxious that I would poop the bed in my sleep.

Yup. Here I was, a grown woman, afraid of pooping the bed. I wore long pants to bed just in case. I wasn’t about to ruin the sheets and have to explain to housekeeping that I had an accident.

For the record, no beds were pooped in. Whew!

The next day, I couldn’t get out of bed. I was weak, I had the chills, my stomach was hating me, and I had no appetite. I knew that I had to drink water but it was hard to force it down.

A friend brought some medicine for me, which was greatly appreciated because I wasn’t going anywhere. I slept, hobbled downstairs to the restaurant for a small bite to eat, and went back upstairs in preparation of seeing that food again in the toilet. It wasn’t a question of if I would see the food again, it was a question of when.

I was sick for four full days and never made it far from my room.

Today is the first day that I felt 100% better (yay!). Excited to get my appetite back, I ate far too much food (hey, I gotta make up for days of not eating), rented a bike with Pat, rode around the city, and played some soccer. It feels good to be back.


We asked for a tandem bike but this is all they had.


We’ll be back to this field (real turf!)

The unfortunate news is that because I was sick for so long and couldn’t travel, we’re a bit behind schedule and might have to cut some things out.

No worries. I believe that everything happens for a reason. Plus, I’m just happy that I didn’t poop my pants. Success!



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