I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Thursday, February 14, 2008

How do you say "gall bladder" in Arabic?

I only got to Lesson 2 on my Egyptian Arabic CD, and could rattle off "Thank you" and "I don't understand Arabic" but definitely not anything that would have helped in a medical situation. Not that it matters anymore; I never made it to Egypt, and I am no longer in possession of a gall bladder.

As you might suspect, the two are related. I started to have stabbing pains in my back the day before I was due to leave, but I assumed I had pulled something packing. The vomiting the next morning was obviously excitement or nerves or both. Certainly not anything that was going to cause me to miss a trip I'd been planning for seven months, for my first vacation in almost thirteen years.

Which is what I kept telling them at the airport several hours later, when I was throwing up every ten minutes, running a fever and doubled over in pain, but still insisting that I was fine, really, and I was going to be getting on that plane.

The airline had other ideas -- understandably, they really don't like it when people need medical attention on long flights over bodies of water. And they retrieved my luggage from the plane, and called an ambulance, and I started on a different kind of adventure than the one I had intended.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

And she's off!

I used to write postcards whenever I took a trip. Lots of postcards. Embarrassing numbers of postcards. No day was safe from news of me, wherever I happened to be at the time, detailed in microscopic printing over every molecule of blank space that the postcard printer provided.

Even if I wanted to take that habit up again on this trip, I couldn't. I'm still recovering from a fractured hand, and my handwriting is large and loopy and largely illegible, like a first-grader trying to forge her mother's signature. So I am going to blog, whenever I have both Internet access and energy.

And when I don't, look for a postcard with a childish scrawl wishing you were here.

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