So of course, after an entire year in Japan without a single sick day, it’s fitting that after less than 72 hours in Cambodia, I ended up at the hospital.
My first two days in country were more or less wonderful. I woke up early, rented a bike, and peddled off to the Angkor Archaeological Park, where I tooled around for 7 or 8 hours each day on the dizzying array of temples and monuments inside. When I get back to Japan, or possibly before, I’ll share some of my many, many pictures, and my reactions to what is undoubtedly one of the world’s most amazing sights.
And then last night, I went to bed feeling fine, looking forward to waking up late and spending my finally day in Siem Reap peeking around the city. It was supposed to be a nice, relaxed day so that I could get ready for my trip to Thailand tomorrow.
All that went out the window when I woke up with diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. That was bad. Worse was the fact that my head felt like it was going to explode. After a few unsuccessful attempts to procure a thermometer, I flag down a tuk-tuk and rode off to the hospital, where I was admitted with a 104-degree fever and severe dehydration.
After six hours hooked up to an IV drip, I was discharged from the hospital, feeling much better but still weak and shitty. I can say, however, that I have a greater respect and admiration for Cambodia after how well I was treated by the hospital staff, who stayed with me in the room for hours, brought me food and coconut milk, and let me watch the National Geographic Channel in English while I recovered.
I’m still not entirely sure why I suddenly got so sick. It could have been the spicy street food I ate. It could have been the long days in the sun and lack of sleep. It could have been the beers I drank at night that dehydrated me. In any case, my visit to Cambodia has been granted a one-day extension, though not the kind you hope for.
Thailand, it seems, will have to wait another day, as the doctor recommended that I not undertake further traveling until I make sure I’m feeling better. You win this round, Southeast Asia.