I may not be the Dos Equis Guy but I’ve lived a damn interesting life.
7 years ago I spent my evenings waiting for the last truck to leave the shipping terminal. Life as a security guard was….boring. 7 years later I have faced some of the world’s most lethal predators up close and personal. I’ve watched my toes swell up to the size of small sausages in Costa Rica, I’ve clung to the back of a lumber truck in Fiji while tons of timber pushed me around and I petted tigers in their cage in Thailand.
Sometimes I look at my life and say: “Did I do that?” (insert Irkle voice)
Let’s check out some of my more intense experiences on the road.
1: Knocking on Death’s Door with Giardia
Who’d have thought something so minuscule could make #1 on my list?
I first felt a wave of nausea at the bus station in Cochin. Cold sweats, had to sit, had to….well, I didn’t go there. After the 5 minute sick spell I ignored the symptoms. My conditionally progressively worsened in Muhamma. I went for the “meld between Gollum and Christian Bale in the Machinist” look.
Giardia killed my appetite. Imagine feeling nauseous….not for 10 minutes….or 2 hours….but for 10 freaking days.
I was the dolt who didn’t go to the emergency room to get an IV…..for 10 days! By day #10, after I had puked out everything, I had to be carried by Kelli and our friend Santos to the tuk tuk. The doctor said my pulse was feeble. I just recall laying down on the waiting room floor, hoping that I had 1 more email newsletter in me. I estimate I was a good 2 days away from passing on to the great white way.
2: Facing Down a Spitting Cobra in Bali
My friend Reinardt finished him off with a blow from a spade but I was within spitting distance of a cobra in Bali. He had already killed a chick. Mama hen was nodding off into death when we arrived. I vividly recall how the cobra seemed to be eyeing us up, slowly bobbing to and fro, measuring us for a blinding spray of venom.
He never spat; I’ve no clue why. The other R guy dispatched of him. In terms of “Oh sh*t I could die now!” type moments in my life, this one ranks up there.
3: Tiger Petting in Thailand
Kelli and I sat in a cage with three, 400 pound tigers in Thailand.
Said tigers were well-fed and of course, nocturnal. During day time hours, well fed, nocturnal creatures sleep. But sleepy creatures that have dagger-sized teeth, 400 pounds in heft and heads as wide as my entire upper body tend to elicit terror in one’s soul…..unless your name is Kelli. She dove into the pen as if she were cuddling up with 3 tabbies. I had to be emasculated by the insane Thai trainers before I peeked my fraidy cat head inside of the enclosure. At one point, Ron the Tiger stood up and walked around for a few seconds. His head reached my chest level. I am 6 feet tall. It feels weird to be way down the food chain. And scary to boot.
4: Super Hero in Costa Rica?
I hoped this was the case.
Something bit me on the shores of Manual Antonio. I can only liken the sting to someone squeezing a pair of pincers – which had been heated until white hot – on your small toe. Oh yeah; make that someone a strong man. The pain was epic. But I carried on. I have a fairly high threshold for pain. Within 10 minutes my toe swelled up considerably. Within 2 hours my last 2 toes looked like small sausages.
Could this be it? Was I becoming a super hero? The Spider Man of Central America? That’s how it all starts, right?
“No”, to all of these questions. Turns out I had to stay off of my right foot for 2 days because the pain was so intense. The sausages went away. My toes returned. Alas, my only super power is being able to write and publish a 6,000 word eBook daily for 2 months straight. Oh well.
5: Fiji Freak Out
Does any hitch hiking tale end well?
While in Savusavu, Fiji, we hitch hiked to a local waterfall. Our Fijian buddies said this was a normal way to travel since buses ran through the area so infrequently. Plus, we were a group of 6. That had to count for something. So we hailed a lumber truck, explained our situation and off we went.
5 minutes later I was clinging to a steel grate while balancing on my left foot – with only 3 toes touching the iron frame of the truck – with tons of lumber load shifts pushing me around, as we barreled around wickedly tight curves at reckless speeds.
We made it to the waterfall. I left some of my deepest fears behind on that trip.
Dancing with Danger
Heck, I didn’t even mention my not so coked-out experienced in Peru, my devastating motorbike accident in Bali and my encounter with a nut job in Nepal…..because I covered each story in prior posts.