Journey to Southern India
January 2, 2006
Looking back on my notes from January 2, 2006 (the day I left Johannesburg for India) I see it was a hellish travel day from Johannesburg to Dubai to Bombay to Trivandrum (the southern tip of India). It’s so boring to read about other people’s travel times and flight durations so I’ll spare you but I will tell you this. Poor Josh got violently ill our last night in South Africa. Something he ate in the Port Elizabeth Airport while we were waiting for our connection to Johannesburg must have been carrying a virus. The symptoms wouldn’t stop so at 2:30am I called in a Dr. to make an emergency house call just to get the poor guy to stop vomiting. He gave Josh a few injections to stop the vomiting and reduce his fever. He also loaded him up with pills, rehydration stuff and anti-nausea creamy chalky liquid. Needless to say neither one of us got much sleep. The room was so small it felt as if my head were in the toilet with Josh. On top of everything else I was a bit stressed about my own health. We ate exactly the same meal at the airport. My tummy was starting to feel a bit queasie but I didn’t want to think about it. I had a big journey ahead of me the next day and couldn’t afford to get sick.
We finally fell asleep at 3:30 in the morning. I got up around 7:00 to start calling the airport to try to change Josh’s flight ‘til the following day. There was no way he could live through the 20 hours of travel time back to San Francisco so I was hoping to get someone on the phone to help change his ticket. American Airlines doesn’t have a 24-hour help desk and Josh’s flight was leaving at 10:30. At 9am I threw on some clothes and went to the airport. Luckily his ticket has no restrictions and was easily changed, with a Dr’s note, to the following day. I went back to the hotel to drop off Josh’s ticket, grab my bags and head back to the airport for India. The tummy rumblings I was ignoring the night before came back to pay me a visit on my way to the airport. They were good enough to wait until the journey to India was underway. Luckily I took a stash of Josh’s drugs before I left. I was popping anti-nausea pills and drinking disgusting white chalky liquid every four hours. It was surreal. And ironic. Five weeks in India and the only time I got sick I wasn’t even IN India I was on the plane to India. I camped out on the floor of the back of the plane for a while to try to balance my lightheadedness. I was cold sweating and shivering so badly I thought my spine was going to snap. Emirates Airlines flight attendants were absolute angels. They brought me bread rolls and wrapped me in extra blankets. By the time I landed in Dubai for the first layover I was stable enough to get off the plane and over to the Emirates Lounge. Luckily the one Business Class seat I have on this entire around-the-world trip was from Dubai to Bombay and the lounge couldn’t have come at a more important time.