Well, I'm going to say that this trip has certainly had it's way with me already - but best to get the nasty stuff out of the way early on, no? Not more than 36 hours had passed in Cambodia before I found myself vomiting, rather violently, into a quarter gallon Ziploc snack bag, unfortunately at the expense of my cherished dried pear chips still nestled there, about 3.5 hours into a wobbly 7 hour bus ride from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. I blame the roadside mango slices. It couldn't have been anything else. Now, this sucks, as I'm a girl who loves food. I'm not picky in the traditional sense, but picky in that I want to eat as locally and authentically as possible (preferably healthfully as well, but that can be thrown to the wayside if I'm presented with an exciting dining opportunity). I don't like to settle for something just to fill my stomach. I like food that means something. Eating and trying new restaurants is probably my favorite part of travel.
But none of that matters when you're sprawled on your guesthouse bed for the second 36 hours of your trip, puking your guts into a trash bin on the floor. Why, cruel world? Gone was any appetite, in the heart of a city where I had the chance to dine on amazing food of all types of cuisine for a mere fraction of what I would pay in the U.S. This was only the second time in my life when I'd had food poisoning (the first being a rather unfortunate incident with Indian food from the beloved North Dining Hall of Notre Dame - the night before the last presentation I would ever give in college). I don't remember it sucking this much. But I won't go into details. It sucked, but I let it suck, I embraced the suckiness, tried to push my mind past the inevitable suck, and attempted to look forward to the rest of the trip when I would be back to 100% and frolicking around Cambodia and Thailand.
But I do have to insert one more "side" story that accompanies the food poisoning incident. Which is more and more hilarious and less painful as time passes. It involves the death of my iPhone 6, which unfortunately was my sole means of photo-taking on this journey, as well as my only computer. In the midst of said food poisoning session, I woke up in the middle of the night around 1 a.m., a bit dazed, confused, dehydrated because I couldn't keep any water down, head pounding, stomach roiling, and blearily started reaching around the bed for my phone (which I had been texting on a few hours before, and left next to my pillow within easy reach before falling back asleep). No phone in the bed. Ok, did I leave it in the bathroom? Nope. This is getting ridiculous. Checked luggage. Checked bed again. Checked under the bed. To the side of the bed. Everywhere. Then I froze. No way. My vomit "bucket" was still perched next to my bed, full of the watery remnants of my stomach. It was barely 7"by 7" wide. No way did my phone fall into the vomit bucket. I grabbed the bucket. Couldn't see anything in it. Ok. Tilted it to the side a little to see better. Holy shit.
My F***ING iPhone was in the vomit bucket.
Now, I was in a rather fragile physical and emotional state. So forgive me for bursting into tears as I grabbed the phone and started frantically pressing buttons. Which, as I later learned, is not the way to handle a submerged and potentially water-damaged (vomit-damaged?) phone. But I didn't know any better. There's no class taught on this stuff! How was I supposed to know you turn it off immediately to prevent it from shorting?? I just wanted to see the familiar comfort of my home screen! PLEASE! Sure, it popped on. But the screen would switch to the bright white apple and then off. Shit. It continued to behave the same the next three times I tried to access the home screen. Then, nada. Zip. Gone.
Well, ok. Yes, I tried the bag-of-dry-rice trick. Yes, I spent painful hours laying in bed, nauseous and crying like a baby over my lost connection to home and the death of my travel-planning-and-documenting buddy. Yes, I spent too many minutes contemplating the crazy misfortune and bad luck that of all the places for me to push my phone in my sickness-induced sleep coma, it had to land in my tiny vomit bucket. And then I had to go and short it. But, with some consoling, I managed to reorient my priorities, get my shit together, and realize that this trip was way more important and bigger than anything that could be captured by a phone.
So, I'm kind of over it now. It's pretty funny. Still stings a little. But you know what doesn't hurt anymore? My head or my stomach! SO, my next posts are certainly going to be about the amazingness that is Cambodia, because I've already fallen in love with the Kingdom of Wonder. Much more to come, my friends. And yes, luckily my wonderful travel buddy, Gabe, happened to have an old extra iPhone of his in his luggage that he has passed on to me, so I do have some way to communicate with friends and fam. Sometimes luck has your back. As we've seen, sometimes it doesn't. But now, bring on the rest of this trip! I'm ready for ya.