Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sickbed Blues - Itching to Move On

Tuesday, June 7, 2011—Kolymbari, Crete, Greece

6:30 AM—Slight change in plans. Yesterday afternoon, about halfway thru my hike, I began to feel a little feverish. At first I was afraid I might be dealing with a sunstroke situation, but then a bit later I felt the beginnings of a sore throat. By yesterday evening this all had developed into a full-blown, rather nasty summer cold, which is still very much with me this morning (this doesn’t surprise me all that much—it’s typical to get a cold when you first arrive in someplace on the other side of the globe where the microbe are different than the ones you’re used to dealing with back home). This has put me in no mood to travel, especially since I’ve decided to go ahead with the hike to the Roman ruins from Kissamos, my next stop (a long hike, hot sun, and fever sound like a horrid combination). So though I’m done with Kolymbari I’ve decided to stay one more day here while I try to lick this cold. Though I’m more than a bit restless to move on, I know this is a good plan. I’ve got over two months in Greece ahead of me and there’s no need for me to rush, especially when I’m not feeling well.

So I guess it’s a day of reading for me (I’m about three-quarters the way thru Halfway to Hollywood, the second volume of Michael Palin’s diaries, which I’m enjoying as much as I did the first volume, plus I’ve got other books with me I want to get into.) I might also head down to the beach. I got too much sun yesterday, but I do want to take a swim. Besides, maybe some time lying out will help burn this cold out of me.

One other thing I want to do today is get on-line. The internet signals around here, even in the supposed internet cafes are so weak that I can’t connect. I’m getting a little backlog of diary posts and photos I want to post. I also want to say hi to a few people and let them know that everything’s OK with me, that some of the more difficult issues I’ve been posting about aren’t all that’s going on here.

Speaking of which, I’ve had no major anxiety attack yet today, but it’s still early in the morning. I’ve noticed they tend to hit later in the day—late afternoons/early evenings seem to be the worst. Stay tuned …

11:55 AM—Sicker than I thought I was, fever mostly, with some worrying chest congestion. Getting a little afraid that I won’t be able to travel tomorrow either (I mean, I could, even if I’m sick, but what’s the point of relocating to another town just to be sick there? Would hate to get stuck here much longer; this was supposed to be just a stopover, one-and-half days—this little settlement can’t justify any more than that, in my book.

Went out this morning and found out where I catch the bus, and which bus I catch, to Kissamos-Kastelli. While I was out I tried to track down some cold medicine, some Greek version of Nyquil if nothing else, to knock me out. Was unsuccessful. Apparently you can’t get that stuff in markets here and the little drug store I found didn’t seem to have what I was looking for—the guy running the place spoke NO English (even my “thank you” as I left seemed to throw him) and the bottles were all in Greek and I didn’t want to take something that I wasn’t sure about.

After that failure I sat down to my free breakfast—a huge affair by my standards, including bread, eggs, yogurt, feta, marmalade (preserves, to Americans), orange juice, and coffee, just to name part of what was going on. Since breakfast I’ve just been lounging around my room; I simply don’t feel well enough to do anything else. Was in bed reading more of the Palin diaries, but now I’m on the balcony writing. There’s not much of a view. To the northwest I can see the road to Afrati that I hiked yesterday winding up the hill, but other than that it’s just some crumbling homes of the locals to my right and in front of the roofs of an ugly little resort called the Avra Imperial, which looks like a series of interconnected beige boxes—no flow, let alone any style. They do have rooftop flower gardens, though, for which they deserve points. The place looks very new, not broken in very much at all.

Trying not to be too negative about being sick—this stuff happens. I know it’s better to spend my energy fighting the illness instead of fighting the fact that I’m ill. Trying too not to have a completely lost day. I plan on doing some more reading out of my Lonely Planet guides (I have one for Crete and one for Greece in general) and finally pick up my Greek phrase book and learn a little of the language, things like “Hello,” “Goodbye,” “Thank you,” and of course “Would you like to come back to my place, bouncy, bouncy?”—you know, the basics. My goal is to learn one new word and use it a day. That may not sound like much, but considering how different Greek is from any other language I’ve dealt with I think my goal is pretty reasonable. Plus, I’ve got over two months left here—with my system, if I carry it out, by the time I leave, I will have actually accomplished a lot linguistically.

I still can’t get on line—everywhere I go it’s still one bar. The resort next to me has an unsecured hookup I can almost latch onto from here. Once the sun goes down so I can see my netbook screen outside, if I’m up to it, I think I’m going to take my computer and go sit on the little wall that marks off the resort property from the public beach. I should be able to get on line there.

OK, back to being sick.

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