Delhi Belly – Being Sick in India – Reunited

Dehli, a city with 24 million inhabitants. Mind blowing architecture! The roots of the Indian Revolution! My girlfriend coming for a visit! Lot's of bacteria waiting to get us!
Hayumans tomb

This was new! Diarrhea and vomiting at the same time. I slumped back into bed. It was now 48 hours and still couldn’t keep anything down ….

Me in my hotel room enjoying the effects of a stomach virus

I had to really put into practice the art of being in the moment so that I would respect Dehli for the city it was, and thereby not compare it to my previous weeks of pilgrimage. Luckily I had the help of my good friend Swati, who had been at the Adhiroha Yoga School with me in Rishikesh, and her partner Dinkar, to give me tips on how to best view Delhi. From India Gate, to the Islamic architectural splendors of Qutab Minar and Humayun’s tomb, to the Red fort and parliament buildings, they also had suggestions on where best to have coffee and dine out. This was something a little different from the street/ashram food I was used to eating.

I loved the pulse of Dehli and it felt normal after coming straight from Varanasi. My hotel was in the heart of the street hawking area with all sorts of merchandise being sold. I took taxi’s and Rikshaw’s out to the various places of interest. In the evening, I would enjoy dinner with Swati and Dinkar, who would then take me out to a surprise visit afterwards. They were the perfect hosts who were not only accommodating, but had put a lot of thought into what I would maybe be inspired by.

We visited this wonderful Sheik temple (Gurudwara Shri Bangla Sahib) at 12am. The ambience both inside and outside the temple was as strong as anything I had experienced elsewhere in India.

After many weeks of negotiation, my girlfriend from Norway came to India to visit. Greeting her at the airport was a special experience after all the previous experiences I had gone through on my own. This wonderful feeling of the world out there waiting to be discovered however became short-lived.

First, came the vomiting. At 4am I was sick to my core and I duly threw up my meal that I had consumed only a few hour’s earlier. Then when I started throwing up all the contents of my stomach, I thought, ok – just be calm. Drink fluid’s. It will pass. But then I just kept throwing up and going to the toilet every hour. I was getting weaker and more delirious as the sickness wore on. Then she got sick and we were both in a really sorry state rotting away in a bed that couldn’t be changed because we were too sick to leave it. By day three, I couldn’t even keep down the electrolytes from the chemist. Suddenly, in my weakened state, I really felt overwhelmed by being in a big city. I needed to get out! Tonje felt the same. But would we have to wait for at least a week before we had the strength in our bodies to leave? No!! We needed to get out of Dehli now! I needed a place where I could rest and dip my carcass in the salty ocean waters. We booked a ticket to Goa. Let’s get out of here!

Weakened by 48 hours of very little fluids, we both looked like shit as we made our way to one of the world’s busiest airports. It took all my power’s of concentration to check us in and keep an eye on our luggage as we made our way through the various check points. Tonje was in tears and had already thrown up three times en route to our Gate. I was now completely exhausted and sat slumped on the departure lounge, too nauseous to eat or drink anything. In delirium we both made it to our seats. Thank god no one was sitting beside us. I passed out into a thick sleep. When the plane touched down, we walked out and were met by a thick humidity which immediately reminded me of where I grew up on the east coast of Australia.

We hailed down a taxi and drove another two and a half hours before we collapsed into bed. Tomorrow we would feel better after a good sleep and some sun, surf and sand. Little did I know, the virus had other plans. It sat there in incubation, waiting for a time when it would reappear with full vigor. We would go on to be on the receiving end of its effects for the weeks ahead ….

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Katy Appleton


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