Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Three Very Important Rules

When it comes to overseas travel, there are many things to consider as one plans and packs. And there’s one thing that I know we should all be certain to prepare for, and yet I never cease to find it awkward even to mention. It’s so highly personal, and yet so difficult to suffer in secret when afflicted with it while traveling… I'm speaking of diarrhea. It is common to us all, and yet there are many ways we try to avoid the word when needing to explain the problem: “I’m not responding well to the food” or “I have an upset tummy.” It’s been called Montezuma’s Revenge, the Jamaican Shuffle, Delhi Belly and even the Sudanese Quickstep. And after spending a year in Sudan in my early-20’s (without any special tablets that are commonly available at any pharmacy, but which NOBODY ever told me about even they knew I’d certainly need them), I have learned that there are three Very Important Rules that must be followed when afflicted with… diarrhea. I have personally found that if one ignores these Very Important Rules, one does so to one’s own peril.
Rule #1: Always respond absolutely immediately to the slightest subterranean sensation. In other words, whatever you’re doing, no matter how vitally important it seems or how close it is to being completed, STOP. Stop whatever you’re doing and move to the nearest facility – carefully.
Rule #2: Never assume that it’s safe – unless properly poised in a proper place – to pass what you’d normally expect to be just a little wind. Handle with care.
Rule #3: Always be absolutely certain that you always know exactly where the nearest facility is located, and never stray too many Quicksteps away from it.
It’s also a Reasonably Good Rule to take some special tablets on trips (that I NOW KNOW are commonly available at any pharmacy). But if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to find them yourself rather than having to ask a pharmacist for them by name.

© 2008 by Ken Peters

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