Today is my last day in Bangkok and SE Asia. I fly out late tonight or more correctly, early tomorrow morning; 2am to be exact. An ungodly hour. I fly to Guangzhou in China where there is a 2 hour stopover. Then a change of planes and a 12 hour flight to London where I arrive at 5pm tomorrow. I’ll be knackered! It was that or a much more expensive direct flight. No contest.

The day before yesterday (Thursday) was a strange sort of a day. I woke up at 7am following a reasonable night’s sleep. My stomach felt squeamish, very unusual for me. I went to the loo and both ends of my digestive system expressed copiously; though mercifully not simultaneously. This puzzled me as I had eaten dinner over 12 hours previously at a local restaurant with good customer turnover and fresh food. I would have expected to become ill a few hours after eating and not 12 hours later. Anyway, I was ill the whole day and could keep nothing down, not even water. I slept the whole day or rather dozed and woke up and dozed again and paid several visits to the porcelain throne. It was very unpleasant. This nausea and inability to keep any food down continues to today and I still feel a bit rough. I went to Boots (yes, they’re even here in Bangkok) and got some meds for the nausea and rehydration sachets. I don’t fancy feeling ill while on a long plane flight but fairly sure I’ll be ok. I wonder if I’ve caught dysentery and will see my doc as soon as back in London.

Anyway, nothing more boring about people withering on about their pains and aches, especially older ‘uns like myself. The reason I’m mentioning it at all is because it’s unusual. I have an immune and digestive system like an armoured combine harvester and generally grind noxious flora and fauna to dust. Also, it had not really happened before during my 5 months in Asia. I have also noticed that in the past, around times of great emotional change, that I often have a physical reaction. For example, during work time I’m never ill. Wait until holiday time and I come down with something. This has happened every christmas for several years now. Stress manifests physically through headaches etc frequently before I’m even aware that I’m stressed. And then there’s my voice and how this is an example of somatised childhood trauma. Etc etc.

So, I’m wondering. Is this unset stomach just a feisty little bug or something else. Being in Asia has been a real big deal for me and in many ways has turned my view of myself upside down. I was talking to some young American lads at an AA meeting in Phnom Pehn a few weeks ago and they were very excited about going upcountry and doing adventurous things. I reflected that this is not where I am at at all now although it was when I was their age and was travelling around Central Asia and India for several months. Today, at this stage of my life, it’s more about being, just being with myself in different contexts and noticing the responses. Being in Asia is very different to doing Asia. Actually, I do very little and am developing quite a taste for this!

Returning to the UK and nascent plans to resettle in Dublin are life changers as well and generate stress. Maybe this is what’s going on. Yada yada yada. I’m beginning to bore myself now. This is bordering on the self-obsessive so I’ll stop.

I am looking forward to long evenings again although I read in the Irish Times today that the evenings are beginning to draw in again. That’s a pity as it gets dark here at 6.30pm. There is no dusk; it’s day and then it’s night. I look forward to lanes as well as country roads.

See you soon.

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