Before I tell you anything about why being sick in an airplane can turn into a nightmare, let me dress the picture of what actually happened before I got into one that day.
I had been living in South Africa for a couple of months.
But I really wanted to go visit Cuba.
So I booked my ticket. Cape Town to Johannesburg and then Johannesburg to Havana.
But nothing happened as planned
When I arrived at the airport, for some reason my flight was cancelled and I had to leave South Africa.My visa was ending the next day and I didn’t want to have trouble with custom.
The price they were asking me at the counter was way too expensive. I had to change my destination.
Where to go?
I quickly checked online: where to go in may on Google. Basic.
And then I saw Costa Rica.
And then I saw Costa Rica.
Yes, that’s it! I’m going to Costa Rica!
It was 10.30 pm and I was about to pay when I changed my mind. I was gonna get there very late at night and I had no accommodation booked. Ok, I know I’ve already done that, but I just wasn’t feeling it.
So I decided to stay one night in Johannesburg and leave the next day.
The lady at the counter actually knew an old lady who had a guest house and called her right away. His son came to pick me up. I gotta say, that part went very smooth.
As soon as I arrived at my hotel, I thought, why not Bali?
So, I booked my ticket right away and left the next day.
I had a 24 hours journey so I thought I was going to eat something at a restaurant as I don’t eat plane food (yes, very convenient for a full time traveler).
But if someone had warned me about what was about to happen, I would have rather starved the next 24 hours!
I finally got on the plane and met the lovely couple from New Zealand I was sittting next to. So far, so good!
Yes, I know I look happy and excited
We chatted for about an hour and then I got very tired.
Soon, I became sweaty and felt very dizzy. My stomach was starting to feel funny.
Damn, that restaurant.
I tried to sleep to avoid thinking about it.
The girl even moved seat leaving his boyfriend so that I could have more space to sleep. Seriously, who would do that?
But when they brought breakfast, the eggs’s smell was the end of me.
For the first time, I reached for the bag in front of me. But wait there was no bag in front of me!
I realized I was about to puke all over
I looked at the guy next to me who took 2 seconds – that fe; the longest 2 seconds of my life- to understand what was happening. I’m pretty sure I looked desperate and in distress. And then, no need do draw you a picture. I filled up 2 entire bags and was sick the rest of the flight. They almost had to carry me out of the plane. They actually did, a little.
I had to wait 3h for my connexion flight.
I was in Singapore and everybody had told me how great the airport was but truth is, I had no strength and needed to sleep.
I asked where I could take a nap and they indelicately showed me this:
It was more cozy than it looks
And said: “Sleep here”.
I put 10 alarms to make sure I wouldn’t miss my connection flight.I think I could have even slept on the floor it would have been fine.
Two hours later, I finally woke up. Still feeling a bit dizzy but better.
Bought a fruit salad. The only “real food” I could find that was gluten and dairy free.
I kept the second one I bought to eat on the plane and guess what? I couldn’t take it with me… BIG FAIL.
Next flight, only have I had time to seat that I got sick again. I couldn’t believe it.
The staff from the plane were all very kind to me though.
When I finally got to Bali, I was feeling like shit.
Passed custom quite easily (thank god) but right before leaving the airport, security wanted to check my bag. Why me? This backpack was so full they would ruin it all by opening it and it would take me ages to pack it again.
Bali and its rice fields seemed so far away
I begged them to let me go as I had been sick the whole flight.
Dear god, what did I have just say… I had just said the magic words…
Both of the security guys waved their eyes at me
They said: “Were you sick?”
Yes, I said. Food poisoning.
That was it. One of the guys disappered and 2 minutes later one lady came to look for me and asked me to follow her.
I entered a very small and cold room.
I hated the atmosphere. It was dark and freezing. There was only a desk, right in the middle.
She locked the door behind me. Two other women were inside. All 3 were staring at me with maleficient eyes. That’s when I realised what was happening.I felt like a criminal.
They started asking question about the reasons of me being here, where I was coming from and how long I was gonna stay.
And then, they asked me to undress.
I refused. They showed me a piece of paper on the wall and said that I should read it, that it was the rule. It was written and I had no choice.
I negotiated to keep my top on. No way I was gonna go topless in front of them.
I felt terrible like, what about my human rights??
After that they asked me to turn around, bend over and open my ass. Damn. I can’t believe it.
But I realized I had no choice and had to go along with it. I had nothing to hide, especially in my ass. Plus, all I wanted the most at this particular moment was to get the hell out of this office and of this airport (and probably of the country). But I wasn’t gonna let all of this ruin my stay in Bali.
So I did it. I bend over and you know the rest.
Fortunately, they didn’t touch me!
I was almost out but still needed to get my guitar back.
But there was apparently one more surprise left for me.
My guitar was still in Singapore.I couldn’t believe it.
They had forgotten my guitar. What kind of a day was that?
But Singapore airlines were very professional and kept their word. They brought it directly at my hostel the same night.
Moral of the story
- Never say to the airport security you’ve been sick the whole flight.
- Never say you are sick at all.
- But above all, don’t let incidents dictate whether you’ll have an awesome time somewhere or not.
- Ups and downs are always part of a real travel experience, and it always forces you to look for the positive side in any situation.