Now For Something Different
We are, in this group, what one of our leaders Alex likes to call “poo friendly”. With the constant spates of diarrhea and constipation, it’s important that everyone feels comfortable talking about their bowel movements with the leaders. If there’s a problem they need to know. I tell you this because my own movements have been far from “movements” at all as of late, and after four days of inactivity I decided to take action.
After days of gnawing pains eating away at my insides after each meal, two nights ago I took three laxative pills and settled into bed with a sense that all would finally be well come morning. Despite such hope, I awoke yesterday morning with nary a sign of a clearing ahead. Perplexed, I later approached the all-knowing Alex with my quandary. She is our resident expert in all things biological because at home she’s a vet tech. We were in the back of a songtow when I broached the subject, smoothly cutting in when she mentioned having a romantic dinner that night with the other group leaders. “Speaking of romance..”
She looked shocked when I told her it had been four days and her face turned to outright consternation when I said the laxatives hadn’t done anything at all. With grim determination she outlined what our next plan of action was: four more pills, cut carbs out of the diet entirely (not so easy in rice-filled Southeast Asia) and begin downing fruit like there’s no tomorrow. If this regimen didn’t work we would be visiting the doctor in Bangkok, no questions asked. While the average doctor measures doses in milligrams or even pills, she explains her laxative system in terms of cats. A typical constipated cat is fed half a pill; therefore my four pills equated to a full 8 cats of medicated relief. This would have to do the trick, right?
Back once more at the guesthouse, I swilled the four pills in my mouth and downed them with a swig of bottled water. For dinner I had a meat skewer, pineapple smoothie, and an entire mango. Bring it on. The plan last night was to go out for karaoke, and as I think we all know, alcohol is a laxative of sorts in its own right. I’m not saying the Sang Sum was doctor ordered, but lets just call it the Iron Chef secret ingredient of the night.
The hours spent belting out nineties hits (think Shania Twain and too much Backstreet Boys) were beginning to drag on and nervous rumblings warned of trying times ahead. We got up to go and discovered that there was no songtow to take us back to the guesthouse. This was a worrying turn of events for me, as I knew the judgment hour was fast approaching. We were wandering aimlessly (me walking slightly ahead of the rest with eyes peeled), when Alex called me back. She took one look at my pained face and knew dramatic action was necessary. She and the other leaders pointed to a nearby motorbike taxi and called him over. I gratefully climbed on the back and yelled, “Fly like the wind!”
The bike zipped off into the night streets of Kanchanaburi, quickly leaving the rest of the group behind. We ducked and weaved through traffic and I occasionally prodded the driver to please, please go a little faster. It was a desperate race against time, a motorbike flying through a Thai city in a frantic search for a toilet. With the wind whistling through my hair, I couldn’t help but laugh at how epic this ride for relief seemed. We finally reached the guesthouse and I dismounted, threw the wrong amount of money at the driver, and quietly hobbled off to the room. I fumbled the key into the lock, threw open the door and swatted at the light switch. With a sigh of relief I settled onto the toilet. Mission accomplished.