Travel Woes, part (who knows)

Korean delicacy, a largely vegetarian rice dish.
Korean delicacy, a largely vegetarian rice dish.

I have been fortunate in my travels. I have close to 2 million miles of travel, and have spent time in a lot of countries, and have had relatively few incidents of food-borne illness.  I have eaten street food in Taiwan, had unrecognizable parts of the chicken in China, eaten what probably was a pet in Korea, all without incident.

However, it hasn’t been a perfect record.

Japan – One of the places in the world with impeccable cleanliness, and cultural proclivity to freshness and clean. However, one day, eating sushi, I had some Uni (sea urchin roe) that tasted off. Boy was it ever. The 6 hour Shinkansen ride the next day was a wasted 1st class ticket. I spent most of the time in the restroom, and had to leave the meeting I attended a couple times to visit their facilities. Not pretty.

Singapore – Arguably the second safest place I have ever been (besides Japan), nonetheless, we ate at a street vendor. I missed my training sessions (that I was delivering) the next day. Ugh.

China – I had been in country for two weeks, and had eaten everything without incident. Then, while waiting to catch a flight, we grabbed some chow in the Beijing airport. I had bibimbap, the Korean dish with an egg on it. I was violently ill the entire flight home (12 hours, upstairs in a 747, a wasted business class upgrade).

Scotland – Not food related, but when my luggage didn’t arrive, and the meetings we were to present at were canceled, it was a completely wasted trip. That night, we drank scotch. Lots of scotch. I was still very drunk when I got to the airport the next day. I had been in country less than 24 hours, I had no luggage, and I reeked like a brewery. Oh yeah, I got the 3rd degree from the customs agent. Truth be told, I needed to vomit one more time. When we touched down in Dulles, I finally got my hangover, and it was a doosy. To this day, scotch is one liquor that I try to avoid.

France/Netherlands – We had a down day in Paris, so a few of us took in the sights. We probably walked 10 miles, in July. Hot for them, but not bad for us desert dwellers. The problem is that we didn’t hydrate enough. Having been in country for a week, I had already shed my “3 liters” that I carry because I live in the desert. I became ultra dehydrated, and that lead to a urinary tract infection. Three days later, as I got on the plane to come home, I was miserable. I called my wife, and had her pick me up (as I could barely stand up). Turns out that it had gone critical, I had a 104.5 fever, and I was in bad shape. Alas, some antibiotics, and I got better. No longer do I make fun of UTI’s when my female friends grumble about them. Truly miserable.

And that is it. Not bad I guess

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