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Friday, April 10, 2015

DENGUE DANCE OF DEATH

Disclaimer:  I'd like to apologize for the lack of pictures and this blog being less coherent than some of the others but it is written while I am actually suffering badly from dengue.  I'm forcing it out now because a lot of people have expressed big concern and want to know how I'm doing.



From the guy who travels who has:

Been in a country having a revolution
Been in a country being invaded
Been in a country through a 6.5 earthquake

We now bring you,



DENGUE DANCE OF DEATH

Originally, this blog would have been called 'Tech Triumph' and I was going to discuss something I've never owned before - a smart phone.

But instead, along came a mosquito...

I was staying at a place called "Star Lodge".  Got bit (probably there) by a dengue infested mosquito.  Of course, you don't know right away.  After three days of pretty much lying around in a fever, I was out in the common room talking to some people when I collapsed.

No fuss, no muss, just straight down to the floor like a puppet with his strings cut.

Chris:  "You alright?"
Logan:  (from the floor)  "I'm fine."
Chris:  "This is not 'fine'."

Best line ever.

After the second time within an hour of this happening, I figured my condition may be severe enough to facilitate going to the hospital.

Because my brain was in such a scambled state, I took some very bad advice from a local working at the desk who told me to go to a 'nearby' private clinic.  This is never good advice, nor was it close by.

The rule:  Clinics are for people whose insurance will pay for it.  Otherwise, stick to the general hospital.


Got to hospital and one of the first things they asked for was a deposit.  I gave them all the ringgits I had on me - 600.  "I don't have insurance.  Please tell me when this is out because then I will have to go."  I told this to everyone.  Nurses, my doctor, the admittance people, financing.

I got the cheapest accommodation they had - 45 MYR for the room and I was told food was included.  I was in a large room with six other people.

Little did I know in my extremely out of touch state that the 'every couple hours unnecessary blood test' they gave me was costing me about 150 MYR.

The next day in the morning I asked how much of the 600 MYR was left.  "You currently owe 950 MYR more."

What.  The.  Fuck.

"What happened to let me know when the 600 MYR was finished?"

Mysteriously, nobody knew.

Get to visit with the head of finance.  Amazing how interested they are in getting their money.  We come to an agreement where I'd pay him less - just another 600 MYR I had to convert some baht (Thailand money) into ringgits.  He was far less than happy to be getting just some of the money instead of all of it.

A nice doctor (the only nice doctor) told me just to stay, they'd write it off.

I had been wanting to leave but nearly passed out en-route.

The head of the hospital somehow got word of this plan and lost his fucking mind.  "If I find him in this hospital tomorrow morning, I'm having the police arrest him!"

So I went home (my hotel) during the third night.  I think.  Remember, I was and still am, pretty out of it.

After a nearly sleepless night of paranoia (are the police coming?) I packed up all of my stuff and managed to drag it to a different hostel.  The effort took everything I had and I experienced insight as to what it would be like trying to do this backpacking at age ninety.

Since here, I've found a very supportive staff, much smaller rooms and been hanging out a bit with my friend Chris (another globe trotter) who has been very kindly looking after my broken ass.

It's been two or three days here.  Thus far I haven't gotten better according to new 23 MYR blood tests but I have been feeling a bit better.



WHAT'S IT LIKE HAVING DENGUE?

First, you are always feeling a bit fuzzy and stupid.  You move like an old person.  Not a healthy chipper one - more like the ones that need walkers.

Sometimes you wildly shift before overheating fever and bone chilling.  Just for a change, both at once as well.

Your gut hurts and your shit explodes out of you.

It is more horrible than having the appendix out by a long shot.



BE A PERSON OF...

refinement  [ri-fahyn-muh nt]
noun

1. fineness or elegance of feeling, taste, manners, language, etc.
2. an instance of refined feeling, manners, etc.
3. the act or process of refining.
4. the quality or state of being refined.
5. a subtle point or distinction.
6. subtle reasoning.
7. an improved, higher, or extreme form of something: a refinement of the old system.

There is a German word 'augenblick' which means moment.  What makes this word more interesting is that 'augen' means 'eye' and 'blick' is glimpse.  [Disclaimer, because it is German, there are actually several different meanings for blick but this one is best for illustrating my current point.]

Hence, 'augenblick' could also be defined as what you see at a glimpse.  Each moment is a brief, transitory glimpse which lasts only for an instant.

If you are 'just checking' your cellphone, you are missing that.


There have been plenty of rants done about the mindless checking of the cellphone turning people into a zombie but for me, it shows a huge lack of refinement.   There is a message sent out - meant or not - "Hey, people who aren't even here are more interesting than hanging out with you."  The worst people are the self delusional ones.  "Just for a second!"  "I just want to check this one thing."  No respect.

Hence, when someone pulls out their cellphone, I know it is time for me to go somewhere else and find someone actually interested in having a conversation with me.



WHY BADMOUTH YOUR HOSTS?

Sitting with a white guy at a table at the bar.

He is a rotten drunk. I know I repeat myself but usually not immediately.

This is going on.

What makes it worse is he is being very insulting to Indian men, saying things like 'after a girl hits 9, she is considered too old' and such.

When I am in a foreign country, I consider myself a guest there. Sometimes a reluctant guest who wants to get out quickly but a guest. As such talking trash about the hosts is incredibly rude.

Did I mention there was a silent Indian guy sitting at the same table?

I left.



TECH TRIUMPH

Wow, does GPS make getting back to where you started a lot easier.

I took a nine kilometer limp today and it led me right back to whence I came.

Amazing technology.

The cellphone has replaced my flashlight, camera and MP3 player.  Note that I am not throwing that shit out but not needing to carry it is nifty.

The battery life is a bit worry some, especially since phone companies don't like you able to just replace the battery on many phones.  Otherwise, you could just charge several batteries and be golden.  I do know of the existence (I've seen them) of batteries you can carry around to charge your battery in your phone.  Not sure of the weight issue yet.

For most people, I'm sure 10 hours is enough but I've done a lot of '20-40 hours of travel time' and would like to have more book time if possible.



THAT WHICH LIVES WITH YOU  (story from the old hotel)

Woke up in a weird sort of way this evening.

It's been 30-32 cel for the last several days.  Even at night, my new phone is showing (weather app) it's 30 cel.

Woke up shivering my ass off.  Like "Oh, I've been somewhere bad for the winter and my fingers are numb."

It must be that I have the fan set almost at the limit, 4/5.  Turn it down to two, pull out my wrap pants to make a blanket and shake for awhile.

Eventually, the shaking goes down.

Checked phone again to see if we were moving on to something like the movie "The Day After Tomorrow" and weird winter weather that likes to chase people came to find me.  In SE Asia.  No.

Crap.  That could have  been an interesting blog post.

Stomach hurts.  Haven't had anything but a bagel since 1 or 2 PM.

Limp my ass over to an Indian restaurant I've been to before.  As I go, the pain is moving more into "you're belly is actually sick, not hungry".

Got the smallest portions they'd ever seen.  I think they actually felt bad for me (I dont' think I looked good) and only charged me 3 MYR.  I ate two or three forkfuls, that's it.

 Obviously, tonight is not drinking time but I saw Santana who had gone to get me a business card from someone who has a house for rent.  If I feel better, can check that out tomorrow.

Unlock the door to my room.  Clearly, I'm just wanting to get settled and maybe listen to a book on MP3.

There is a cockroach the size of my middle finger, maybe a bit bigger in my room.

Try the Godzilla stomp but I'm slow and so he scurries under the pillow I have sitting on the floor and clings to it for dear life as I grab the pillow, toss it outside and manage to execute him.  And leave the corpse out there as an example for the others.

It's always a whole lot of 'what the fuck' everywhere.

Because of the apathy, I manage to spot a cat sized rat about every day here.

These factors are why usually sleeping a floor up or more is desirable.



VIDEOS

Graveyard 1, 2





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PICTURES

{{2011}} London, GB | Rail N Sail | Amsterdam, Netherlands | Prague, Czech Republic | Budapest, Hungary | Sarajevo, Bosnia | Romania | Chisinau, Moldova | Ukraine: Odessa - Sevastopol | Crossed Black Sea by ship | Georgia: Batumi - Tbilisi - Telavi - Sighnaghi - Chabukiani | Turkey: Kars - Lost City of Ani - Goreme - Istanbul | Jordan: Amman - Wadi Rum | Israel | Egypt: Neweiba - Luxor - Karnak - Cairo | Thailand: Bangkok - Pattaya - Chaing Mai - Chaing Rei | Laos: Luang Prabang - Pakse | Cambodia: Phnom Penh | Vietnam: Vung Tau - Saigon aka Ho Chi Minh City

{{2012}} Cambodia: Kampot - Sihanoukville - Siem Reap - Angkor Wat | Thailand: Bangkok | India: Rishikesh - Ajmer - Pushkar - Bundi - Udaipur - Jodhpur - Jasalmer - Bikaner - Jaipur - Agra - Varanasi | Nepal: Kathmandu - Chitwan - Pokhara - Bhaktapur - (Rafting) - Dharan | India: Darjeeling - Calcutta Panaji | Thailand: Bangkok - again - Krabi Town | Malaysia, Malaka | Indonesia: Dumas - Bukittinggi - Kuta - Ubud - 'Full Throttle' - Gili Islands - Senggigi | Cambodia: Siem Reap | Thailand: Trat | Turkey: Istanbul | Georgia: Tbilisi

{{2013}} Latvia: Riga | Germany: Berlin | Spain: Malaga - Grenada | Morocco: Marrakech - Essauira - Casablanca - Chefchawen - Fes | Germany: Frankfurt | Logan's Home Invasion USA: Virginia - Michigan - Indiana - Illinois - Illinois - Colorado | Guatemala: Antigua - San Pedro | Honduras: Copan Ruinas - Utila | Nicaragua: Granada | Colombia: Cartagena | Ecuador: Otavalo - Quito - Banos - Samari (a spa outside of Banos) - Puyo - Mera

{{2014}} Peru: Lima - Nasca - Cusco | Dominican Republic | Ukraine: Odessa | Bulgaria: Varna - Plovdiv | Macedonia: Skopje - Bitola - Ohrid - Struga | Albania: Berat - Sarande | Greece: Athens | Italy: Naples - Pompeii - Salerno | Tunisia: Hammamet 1

{{2015}} Hammamet 2 | South Africa: Johnnesburg | Thailand: Hua Hin - Hat Yai | Malaysia: Georgetown | Thailand: Krabi Town | Indonesia:
Sabang Island | Bulgaria: Plovdiv | Romania: Ploiesti - Targu Mures | Poland: Warsaw | Czech Republic: Prague | Germany: Munich | Netherlands: Groningen | England: Slough | Thailand: Ayutthaya - Khon Kaen - Vang Vieng | Cambodia: Siem Reap

{{2016}} Thailand: Kanchanaburi - Chumphon | Malaysia: Ipoh - Kuala Lumpur - Kuching - Miri | Ukraine: Kiev | Romania: Targu Mures - Barsov | Morocco: Tetouan

{{2017}} Portugal: Faro | USA: Virginia | Michigan | Illinois | Colorado |

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