Down And Out In Chiang Mai

I seem to have some sort of head cold. At least, let's all hope it's a head cold, because when you haven't got Dr. Google on 24-hour standby, you're apt to start flicking through the "Illnesses and Diseases" section of the Lonely Planet Southeast Asia instead and finding that why yes, you do have a sore throat, body aches, and small itchy spots on the inside of your elbow, so quite obviously you have Japenese Encephalitis. And malaria. And dengue fever. And SARS. But probably just a head cold, actually, because let's think about whether we really want to use that travel insurance with only 25 days left to go.

All the usual complaints are there: stuffy nose, skull stuffed full of cotton wool, limbs made of lead, constant whimpering and mewling, sniffles, snuffles, requests to be carried (status: denied), sinus pain, grumpiness, earache, and neckache. I have been taking matters into my own hands and self-medicating with miniature Toblerones and Valium, which I think is a fair combination, especially when paired with the latest issue of Us Weekly, which some newly-arrived American saint left on the communal pile in the hotel reception area yesterday, and then followed up this morning with In Touch, prompting me to wonder whether I really had contracted Japanese Encephalitis, and subsequently died and gone to heaven. Jessica Simpson and John Mayer? Who knew!

The Valium came about by accident, actually, since before we left, I packed all our drugs---Tylenol, Tylenol PM, Excedrin, Ibuprofen, and three of the precious orange pills for small airplane rides---into one Ziploc baggie (a party mix!), only to find on arrival that the precious Valiums had not withstood the journey as well as the sturdier pharmaceuticals and had instead disintegrated into a pale peachy dust. The upshot of this is that whenever Sean and I have a headache and reach into the bag for some pain relief, whichever medication we choose inevitably comes with a side order of diazepam---sprinkled on there, just like a gift from the fairies!---which certainly helps to take the edge off. Of everything, actually.

So to distract you from the fact that the steady pounding inside my cranium is preventing me from formulating any coherent thoughts, let alone funny and entertaining ones, here is a video of some Cambodian boys instead! We met them on the street in Siem Reap a few weeks ago, and were charmed into buying some postcards from them after they demonstrated their almost encylopedic knowledge of the capitals and population count of every country in the world. My favorite part is when the older one cracks up in the middle, shortly before naming the U.S. capital as "Washington B.C." They totally ripped us off on the postcards, but I hadn't seen a smile that bright in weeks.


Oct 02, 2006

Seems like even with his 'Washington B.C.' he's got an awful lot of our own children beat. I'm sure there are many that couldn't come up with even THAT appoximation!! He's got a megawatt smile, that one. Hope your cold hits the trail soon. In the meantime....mmmmm....valium.....

Oct 02, 2006

Great smile and their faces - WOW!!! I too would have succumbed and bought many postcards. A lovely dusting of valium should be mandatory on all cold medication.

Enjoy your last 25 days!

Oct 02, 2006

I can't belive you didn't put those boys in your backpack and bring them home with you. I probably would have.

Oct 03, 2006

Oh, Holly. Another wonderful post. I remain frightfully jealous of your adventures. I may be up to date on Gray's Anatomy (ha!), but there are always reruns. You have inspired me to visit my best friend who just moved to Japan. Unfortunately, she wants me to come to Okinawa and drink for two weeks (nothing wrong with that), while I am trying to drag her on adventures like hiking the temples in Kyoto and staying in small, authentic Japanese guest house with hotsprings. We are looking for a happy compromise. We travel pretty well together. And fortunately, while she is not color blind and might argue with me about mangoes, she is dyslexic and would have trouble trying to counter any written procolomations I might make on the internet.

Please continue with the adventures, and feel better soon.

Horrible Warning
Oct 03, 2006

Yeah, I bet it's hard to get Airborne in Thailand. Feel better, Holly!

Oct 03, 2006

toblerone and valium. my kind of girl!! lol.

those boys are adorable.

Oct 03, 2006

wow! mega sweet boys! hope you feel better soon! mmmm toblerone, yum.

Oct 03, 2006

I'm having video envy, so at the next Castro street fair, I'm asking the first drag queen I see to name all of the world's capitals. My video will be better, because it will feature nipple rings.

Oct 03, 2006

This is my first time commenting. I have been reading your blog for about 9 months and have loved hearing about your adventure. Thank you for sharing this with everyone. The video of the two boys was amazing and heartwarming. I hope that you are feeling well and enjoy the rest of your trip.