How Chinese people saved me from passing out in Thai jungle

I’m in Thailand for a bit more than three weeks now and I made it without getting sick (besides my wisdom tooth story from Bangkok). I started to believe that the famous food poisoning won’t happen to me. How naive of me.

I should have known that it will happen in the worst of all possible moments. Yesterday I woke up with the pain in my legs but I thought that it’s because I’ve been walking and riding the bicycles a lot lately. Me and two other guys that met on the way decided to go to visit local caves. One of them took me as a passenger on his bike and we drove all the way up to the caves.

The road was very beautiful but super curvy so we stopped from time to time to rest for a while and enjoy the views. My leg pain would become stronger and stronger and I wouldn’t understand why. After one hour of driving my lower back started to hurt badly but I assumed that it’s because of the uncomfortable bike seat. It was really weird for me though because I’m used to going on the motorbike and I never felt this way even after many hours of driving – this time the pain was unbearable and I was praying to get to the place as soon as possible.

Pai

Once we’ve arrived guys suggested that we eat something. It was a lunch time but I didn’t feel hungry – this was very surprising and not like me at all. I just sat with them drinking water when suddenly I felt that my stomach starts to hurt. I also felt very hot and dizzy. I went to the bathroom and I barely made my way back to the guys. Everything made sense at that moment – I got legs pain because I had a very high fever (one of the symptoms that I always have when my body temperature rises). I was feeling worse and worse.

I told the guys to go ahead and see the caves without me as I wasn’t capable of doing it in that moment. I really wanted to get back to my bamboo hut but I knew that I couldn’t ask them to go back without actually seeing the caves. I started to look for a ride back but nobody seemed to understand me. It is a common problem that Thai people don’t understand English but I think that they just weren’t interested in helping. There was this one Thai guide that spoke perfect English so I asked him to help me find someone who is going to Pai but he said he know everyone and nobody is going so I have to wait for my friends to come back. He didn’t try to help even when I burst in tears and told him I was feeling very sick and I needed to come back to my hostel ASAP.

Feeling terribly dizzy and hopeless I sat under the tree with a bottle of water and waited for my friends to come back. I was feeling worse and worse every second and after a while I wasn’t really able to stand up. My body was completely weak, it was very hot outside but I was shaking from fever. I realized that there are insects walking on me but I really didn’t have the strength to do anything with that – every move cost me so much. Unfortunately, there were ants among those insects and they started to bite me.

I was very close fainting, I couldn’t really go anywhere, nobody wanted to help me and I honestly thought that my friends will find my unconscious body lying under the tree next to our motorbikes. Many people and cars passed next to me but no one asked me if I needed help. I definitely didn’t look like someone who is just taking an afternoon nap in the middle of nowhere yet no one seemed to care.

I was half conscious when a van with Chinese tourist stopped next to me. One of the people came out and asked me if I needed some help. I told them that I feel very sick and I need a ride to Pai – they took me to the van, put me in the front seat, gave me water and painkillers and drove me all the way back to my hostel. I don’t think that Pai was their ultimate destination but maybe was somehow on the way – what I know is that those people really saved me. The whole afternoon and night I was fighting very high fever and dealing with my upset stomach.

I was feeling very bad and had problems with getting food. My hostel is not in the village and as I could barely make it to the bathroom 10 minute walk to the village wasn’t even an option.

One of the guys that took me on his bike to the caves got sick as well. Today in the morning I found out that there are actually many sick people not only in my hostel but in the whole village. Locals get sick as well and according to the lady that owns the place I’m staying at the weather has something to do with that. I cannot find any connection between me having a virus and weather conditions but maybe there is something about that.

I spent the whole day on resting and I’m really upset because it’s my last day in Pai (that I love with all my heart) and I can’t enjoy it. The fever is not so high anymore and I even managed to have some plain rice to eat – let’s hope that the medicine I took will help because tomorrow I’m going to make a very long drive on the bus to Bangkok and I can’t imagine being that sick while crossing half of the country.

My Swedish friend is feeling sick as well so we both support each other in our misery. People in the hostel were pretty helpful and asked if we needed something from the town or there is any other way they could help us.

Only yesterday when I was lying in bed with such a high fever someone offered (without me asking for it) to bring me food. As much as I don’t like asking people for favors (and especially not people that I barely know) I accepted his kind offer because I really wasn’t able to move. Unfortunately that person never arrived and had me waiting for 2.5 hours without letting me know that the “food delivery” will never happen. I know that nobody is perfect and different things can happen but offering help to someone very sick and not helping this person in the end is kind of cruel. I also made my opinion about the hospitality and kindness of Thai people but I will save it for some other post.

On the positive note, as I was kind of stuck in the hostel for the whole day I had some time to catch up on reading and writing (in between sleeping, sweating etc.). I have so many pictures and stories that I would like to share with the world already but it is so hard to do so when there is so much going on and being on the computer is the last thing you dream of doing.

Anyway, beautiful people, keep your fingers crossed for my fast recovery and wish me luck on a crazy bus to Bangkok tomorrow 😉

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