Thursday, June 12, 2008

Under the shadow of my umbrella

I had decided to spend my first Saturday in Trivandrum walking around the city. It was a hot day, but every day had been hot, and every day to come was going to be. I always refused to let MontrĂ©al's freezing winter storms to lock me inside. If coldness is a state of mind, as MontrĂ©al taught me, surely hotness was too. Besides, it was only 33° under the tropical sun, the sea's humidity, and the rickshaws' cloud of pollution. How bad could it be?

Trivandrum didn't agree with my plan and struck me down with a heatstroke. During this moment of weakness an opportunistic virus took over and sent me to bed for four days, feverish. I woke up to find myself afflicted by a stomach bug that let me feed on nothing but rice and curd. While that was going on, a lymph node that continued the battle against the remnants of the virus accidentally pinched a nerve in my neck, which paralyzed my right arm with pain.

Overcoming these afflictions occupied me for week #2, #3 and #4 of my stay in South India.

It's amazing what you can achieve with a smile and a merry disposition. For during these three weeks I had none, and so there was no occurrences any of the wonders that had been the hallmark of my previous month in India. There was no chance encounter with the locals, no magnificent food discovery, no fascination with tiny details, and so on.

There was, however,
  • an apartment with no fridge, no stove, no water filter, no curtains
  • which did have ants, mosquito, cockroaches, and geckos
  • which was surrounded by a city with no coffee, no beer, no wine, and nothing but melted chocolate
  • which hosted a library whose administration couldn't choose between refusing me membership or refusing me access outright, because I was a foreigner with a laptop
For the most part, I forgot the content of this list of annoyances now that the illnesses are gone. Either I found a solution or came to see the situation in a different light. Sometime it was a simple matter, such as realizing that geckos are just great. They really are.

This week (week #5) is going to be spent reading about Trigger Point Therapy in an attempt to make the remainder of the right arm pain go away. I will also get some work done, and go rest on the beach, under the sun. Wish me luck.
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