Here we were, staying in the less salubrious area of Koh Samui and since our arrival the previous day, having a bit of a stressful time. So to cheer us up, we decided we needed to order some good food!
I looked in the Lonely Planet Guide and Trip Advisor online and found a well-reviewed place to eat in our area – Ninja Crepes. As expected, it was really busy and the food coming out of the open kitchen, with its fiery woks, looked good. Even Rosie said she’d try the sweet and sour chicken with rice! So Aaron and I ordered the first beers we’d had in what seemed like weeks, and we decided to relax!
On choosing the calamari, a family favourite, we were a bit surprised when a guy came over to our table, complete with weighing scales and a tray of squid for us to choose from! He totted up how much the calamari we’d chosen would cost, and then headed off to cook it. It was great to be able to show the kids where their food was coming from and they were quite fascinated, if a little worried, by the realisation that THAT was the sea creature they have been eating and enjoying for the last few years at our favourite restaurant, Bill’s back home!
Anyway, the calamari arrived and it tasted good. The kids suddenly didn’t seem that bothered and declined to eat more than just a bite each. Yay! A little bit more for Aaron and I! The food was good and we enjoyed our various dishes – sharing everything else ordered between us.
After paying for our meal and on the way back to the accommodation, we rented motorbikes for the following day.
Things were looking up and we were feeling happy!
An hour or so later though, Rosie was looking like she was coming down with a virus. She had a high temperature and didn’t seem herself at all – she’d even stopped complaining about everything and anything to do with the trip. I was worried.
This was bad timing particularly, as the following day we had made plans: Ruben and Rosie were booked in to spend the day at a global education home school. It was the only definite plan we had made since leaving Sydney and I know the kids were looking forward to it. So we dosed Rosie up with calpol and hoped for the best…
The first few hours that night were difficult as Rosie’s temperature didn’t go down and I lay awake, worrying to myself about the possibility that she’d contracted something serious. What could it be? Malaria, dengue fever or perhaps something even worse! Would she be able to take the tablets given to us by the Thai travel clinic, in the case of suspected malaria? Why had I put my children in so much danger and brought them on this trip? My mind was racing. Finally though, she cooled down and I finally drifted off, feeling relieved.
Waking about an hour later, I told myself that I was feeling a bit nauseous due to feeling tired and worried about Rosie. Touching Rosie’s forehead though, she felt cool and was sleeping soundly. But still my nausea didn’t dissipate. And then my stomach gave a vaguely recognisable lurch. Something wasn’t right… Things felt a little bit like when I was in France and I had caught food poisoning from some scallops. Surely not! I hadn’t eaten anything dodgy… had I?! And then I remembered the calamari. And the fishy scales the squid had been weighed on. And thats when the scene from the film ‘Bridesmaids’ unfolded in our suddenly-too-small-for-a-whole-family double guest room . All I will say is that lava flowed. As did a whole lot of other bodily fluids. For what seemed like hours.
At 5am, Aaron woke as I padded back to bed for the tenth time; “Did I just hear you being sick?” he asked. “Yes, many times.” I answered weakly, “I think I might have food poisoning.” Then he said, “I think I’m going to be sick as well…” and off he went, to pray at the porcelain alter and release his gastric refugees.
Oh no! My suspicions of food poisoning were confirmed. To try and avoid another technicolour yawn, I didn’t want to think about the calamari, but I was certain that was the culprit. We just had to hope that now the kids didn’t get it too. Thank goodness, (for once !), that they had been fussy about trying our specially prepared starter! I had my fingers crossed. It was all I had the strength to do.
Ruben woke at 7am, excited about the prospect of attending ‘school’ for the day. Then he looked at me and he heard dad in the bathroom. I just didn’t know what to say. In the state I was in, it was obvious that I couldn’t possibly get on a motorbike and travel literally across the whole island, especially with a kid on the back! And Rosie was lying next to me in bed still with a temperature.
But just as Ruben looked absolutely crestfallen, Aaron appeared like a hero from the bathroom: showered, dressed and ready to take him to school. He wasn’t going to let a so-far single vomit-session stop him from taking a motorbike ride! So off they went. After returning from the 20km round trip, and promptly throwing up once more, he then made the journey again, this time with Rosie on the back of the bike, as she was now awake and feeling completely better and desperately sad that she could have missed out on all the fun at school….
Aaron returned once more and we spent the only day of our trip so far as ‘just grown-ups’ sat next to each other in bed, feeling terrible. We’d had plans of going off on the motorbikes and exploring the island together; laying on the beach in peace and quiet, enjoying a nice lunch, just the two of us…. Boo hoo! Instead, we were getting a genuine opportunity to become properly acquainted with the Thai toilet etiquette of using the ‘bum-gun’, which I must say, in this kind of situation, was very useful.
The other good news is that after 8-hours straight of D&V, my usual cure for all stomach upsets, sips of flat coke, worked its magic and we were feeling much better later that afternoon, albeit a little wobbly. And I was sure this meant we couldn’t possibly have the much worse, and possibly fatal, forms of food poisoning I’d read about on Dr Google, such as botulism or e-coli. So we were now unlikely to die, which is what I had been thinking just a few hours previously.
All we had to do now, was to drive 20km and collect the kids on the motorbikes and bring them safely home.
The moral of this story is: stick to frozen fish fingers.