Random upchucks and exploding puss balls in Vietnam

20 Sep

Reluctantly, I find myself here again: legs sprawled out across the bathroom floor, arms wrapped around the porcelain and chin weighing down on the toilet seat as I focus on examining the suspicious liquid below with a heavy head. Is that lettuce? I don’t remember eating lettuce.

Fresh seafood is sold on every street corner... but it makes me very sick. I took this photograph at My Tho.

I’ve been sick many times in Vietnam but this is the first time it has struck me at work. Luckily I had enough time to rush to the toilet at the back of the office so my colleagues didn’t have to hear me coughing and gagging as lunch made its return.

For a moment I realise I’m not being hygienic; my head’s in a grimy toilet bowl and I’m wiping my mouth with my dirty hands. But I don’t give a shit. I’m going to puke again at any moment and I don’t have the energy to move for it.

We have a saying here when things like this happen: “This is Vietnam.”

In Australia it’s a big deal if you start randomly puking. If you spend a lot of time in South East Asia, it’s expected. Unfortunately I have experienced it more than my fair share of times already – because I get this reaction from seafood – and it’s difficult to avoid. All I ate for lunch was omelette and rice but apparently my omelette was cooked in a pan with remains of a seafood stew. I’m never eating there again.

Living in Vietnam really is “like a roller coaster”. Just when you find routine and comfort, a motorbike takes your feet out from under you or a bug bite turns into an exploding ball of puss. It can be tough.

During hard moments, I recall the advice of my new boss and friend: “Always remember that we are guests in this country.” I’ve only been invited to work in Vietnam for six months. I’m not going to let the tough times get me down as that leaves less hours for doing good.

How do you deal with tough times abroad?

By Marissa Toohey


4 Responses to “Random upchucks and exploding puss balls in Vietnam”

  1. Orr September 22, 2010 at 1:04 AM #

    Apropos ball of puss…

  2. Sue McGrath October 5, 2010 at 11:33 AM #

    Hey M

    How much weight have you lost?

    I love reading your stories….you are a very clever woman!

    S x

    • theBubbleBuster October 15, 2010 at 1:59 PM #

      Hey Sue, I lost weight at the start of my assignment but I’ve put it all back on since I discovered all the yummy sweets here haha. Glad you are enjoying my blogs 🙂

  3. free movie streaming October 7, 2010 at 12:14 AM #

    Awesome blog, I had not noticed thebubblebuster.wordpress.com previously during my searches!
    Keep up the superb work!

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