28th May 2010 - 31st May 2010
The One where Mark gets really sick & we don’t get to see any of Hong Kong…
By all accounts Hong Kong is a vibrant, modern, shiny and exciting city!
Unfortunately, due to Mark contracting a mystery illness just before we left Thailand, we didn’t really get to see much of it at all. He spent the entire time that we there acting like a baby; shaking & shivering, moaning & groaning and sporadically dispensing bodily fluids from various exit points about his body.
As Hong Kong is a far more developed part of the world than the places we had visited in SE Asia, the cost of everything was significantly higher. This was definitely reflected in the price (and size) of the room we were staying in! As a result, Mark was more-or-less confined to a small box-room for three whole days. A small box-room that he would make very smelly at regular intervals…
With the exception of being stared at all day long, he wasn’t actually having that different a life to that of the dogs that fill the numerous pet-shops lining the small streets around the Causeway Bay area of Hong Kong. Row upon row of the cutest little puppies gaze forlornly out at you as you walk past. These poor creatures are forced to spend their entire day, stacked on top of each other, in what are nothing more than small glass cages with a water-bottle and drip tray beneath their feet to catch any poop. Still, at least for the most part, they appeared healthy and their poop was of a solid consistency… not something that could be said for Mark.
Being a man (and they do always know best) Mark was convinced that it was ‘simply’ a bad case of food-poisoning and that a few days rest and the handful of antibiotics that he had leftover from a dodgy pharmacy in Laos would ‘do the trick’. Needless to say, this plan didn’t really seem to be working! Although he tried to venture out and see the sights on several occasions, within minutes he would be transformed from the muscled athlete that we all know and love into a barely-recognisable sweaty, shaky balding middle-aged man with a horrendous case of bad wind. As he stumbled back to the hotel-room, leaving a trail of highly-hazardous gases behind him, small children cried and clung to their mothers as dazed birds fell from the trees above onto the neon-lit pavements below.
Since arriving in Japan - and finally seeking proper medical advice (but only after he threw up in the Arrivals hall of the airport) - we’ve discovered that his ‘food-poisoning’ was actually full-blown malaria. The antibiotics that he was self-medicating himself with were (surprise, surprise!) of no use whatsoever (although they would have been had he had a urinary-tract infection…) On top of all this, it has taken another five days of R&R to get to the point where we can finally continue our travels again and get to see some of Japan!
Trust Mark Whiteman. Here’s a man who, in the eight months since we’ve been away, has taken more Malarone than any other traveller we’ve met; a man who gargles with Deet every morning… Yet he still goes and gets malaria!