19 Feb 2008

Khmer food is amazing. From the beef curry known as 'luclac' to the gentle 'fish amok' to the renditions of Western food that equal London's best, it's an experience to be savoured.

It's also poisonous.

There's no telling if it was the barbecue, the sandwich, or even the ice in the smoothy. But Sunday morning in Sihanoukville has us both vomiting. It's not fair; I haven't even been drinking.

Out here food poisoning is a matter of time, not luck, and our number's up. Regarding this, I have only one piece of advice to give:

Take the fucking pills.

If you take antibiotics, you'll get better in a day. If you don't, you'll get better in as many days as it takes you to take antibiotics, plus one.

We endured four miserable days in Phnom Penh, trying to convince ourselves that we were improving when we weren't. After Lyn either relapsed or ate a second dose of poison, I finally sought medical attention in Siem Reap.

There's an international-standard hospital out by the airport, but Lyn wasn't willing to travel that far, for obvious reasons. So I took a tuktuk to the local pharmacy and explained our symptoms. The pharmacist asked me if I knew what I should take. I was ready for this, so, courtesy of the internet, I had the names of three alternatives written down: norfloxacin, ciprofloxacin, or azithromycin. She looked at the list, looked at me, and said, "you want take all?"

No thanks. I want to live.