What’s going on guys? 🙂
Today I will tell you about my biggest fear about living in Thailand. Or any other place that is hot and tropical. 🙁
I almost only talk positive things about living in Thailand. And yes, I love this life and I would not change it for anything.
At the same time I don’t want to give you the impression that it’s only good times and hakuna matata. This place has its negative aspects too, and here is one of them.
Last night I was at a local clinic at Sukhumvit Soi 11. I ripped up my skin on my leg some days ago and it got infected. I had no fever but if I didn’t do anything about it would probably only get worse.
Another farang was at the clinic too. This guy did not look well at all! He was blue in his face, had purple lips, was shivering and occasionally he would run to the toilet to puke.
I asked him what was going on, and I told him I could go to 7/11 to buy him some cold water or fruit juice.
He said he didn’t know what was going on, but that he had been eating som street food at Khao San Rd the night before, and after that, had only gotten worse through the night. The guy said he had no diarrhea or anything. He just felt awful.
Once in a while I will meet people down here that just look terrible. They experience extreme fatigue, dizziness, shivering, lack of energy and stomach pain.
Everyone I have talked will say they have no idea why they got sick, but that they suspect it was something they ate.
Last year when I was at Koh Yao Noi, I met an English guy that had been training Muay Thai for months at the island. I met him on the boat back to Phuket, and he told me that he was about to go home to England again.
He told me that he had some serious trouble with his stomach for weeks after he ate some sea food at the island.
The doctors didn’t find anything wrong with him, but he only felt worse for everyday that passed. I could see that he was really worried about his situation, and that he just wanted to get back to England as fast as possible.
I got his contact information, and 4 weeks later I asked him how he was feeling. The doctors back in England didn’t have any answers either. And he still had trouble with his stomach. He had also lost a lot of weight. Wtf..?
Some months ago when I was going back from Siem Reap, I met another dude with the exactly same symptoms as the guy at the clinic at Sukhumvit Rd.
He was shivering, feeling cold, his face had turned blue and he just felt fucking awful. He wanted to get back to Bangkok as fast as possible to get some decent health care, as the health care in Cambodia his nothing to brag about.
I have a friend back in Norway that was in Thailand many years ago. He had been eating food at a local Thai buffet restaurant in Chiang Mai. 5 hours later he was stuck on the toilet shitting liquid brown water mixed with blood. He was hospitalized for almost a week, with high fever, dizziness and fatigue.
To this day his still not 100% well. He still have occasionally severe stomach pain after he eats big meals. He will start to shake for a good 20 minutes, before it settles again. The doctors have zero answers.
What can you do about it?
This stuff scares the crap out of me. Because there is nothing you can do about it to avoid it. Be unlucky one time, and it could change your life forever.
Of course, you could buy all your food at the supermarkets around Bangkok, and cook your own food in your apartment to make sure that all parasites are killed, but that is not really feasible for most people. Not for me either.
I go out in rural areas all the time down here, and I need food. I have to trust my health on the Thai person that cook my meal.
Is the meat processed properly? How long has it been out in the heat? Is the salad washed for bacteria and bugs? What kind of water did they use to wash the salad? Did you clean your hands after you wiped your ass? Etc…
I’ve found bugs in my salad several times down here. Ants, flies, even a fucking wasp. Eating bugs are not that big of a deal healthwise, but it’s a good sign that they didn’t wash the salad with water. What other parasites are still inside the salad??
As soon as you get out of the bigger cities there are no big fancy shopping malls with strict hygiene routines and focus on service. It’s mostly family driven businesses where anything goes. These people would employ their daughter even if she was mentally retarded, and she would cook your food…
By the way. I’m not taking about cute little bacteria that will give a night with diarrhea. I’m talking about serious parasites that will push your immune system to the limit.
Another aspect of this is that I’m not native to this part of the world. There are bacteria and parasites out here that my immune system has never encountered before. Bacteria that would make me really sick, but that a Thai person wouldn’t even have a reaction on.
I don’t know what do make out of this post. This just scares the shit out me (sometimes literally hihi).
Whenever I eat at a local family driven restaurant I will inspect the food as my life depends on it. Call me paranoid, but I don’t want to fuck up my health because I ate a lump of parasite infested meat.