While you've been going about your day-to-day lives, unsuspecting of anything untoward, we have been a woman down out here… I repeat: A WOMAN DOWN.
It finally happened.
China… all good fun until somebody eats a mouldy egg.
Now that I have recovered, I can reflect on a difficult few days in Xingping. Katie will have explained the fun things she did while I had my head in a bucket in the previous entry. It seems, however, that I fell victim to a series of unfortunate events…
It all began on the 18th September 2013, in York, the day before we were due to leave. Obviously, I'd left packing until the very last minute and was madly shoving stuff into an already bursting bag. Something had to go and it was either the vegetable peeler or the pyjamas. Obviously, I couldn't leave the peeler, how would I eat my daily carrot? It had to be the PJs.
I quickly realised pyjamas really are an essential item. Belt buckles, zips, buttons etc, all extremely uncomfortable when lying on hard mattresses. Unfortunately, in all the shops in China, the only pyjamas I could find were elderly women's nighties or Hello Kitty shorts and T-shirts.
On our first night in Xingping, I put on my brand new, frilly pink shorts and T-shirt combo and quickly climbed into the top bunk before anyone in our six-bed dormitory could see me. The concrete floor was absolutely freezing, this mountainous village was pretty chilly, so I grabbed my pink walking socks, put them on, and fell fast asleep. Peacefully sleeping, nothing could have prepared me for the imminent and traumatic way I was about to be reacquainted with the American Pancakes I'd had for breakfast.
A few hours later, I woke. Something was HORRIBLY wrong. With a desperate sense of urgency I threw myself down my ladder and in my haste grabbed the only shoes to hand: my walking sandals. I ran out of the dormitory and slammed the door, which locked automatically. I proceeded to be extremely sick into a bin before realising I was locked out of the room wearing possibly the worst combination of clothing ever. How had this happened? Really, HOW? Just as realisation of this unsightly predicament hit, it started to rain. Not only had the Chinese poisoned me, but now Chinese nature was kicking me whilst I was down.
Fortunately at that moment, stirred from her slumber by the sound of retching, Katie dashed out to the rescue armed with a hair bobble, bottled water, dry-hand-wash, wet wipes and, most importantly, the room key: It was like she'd been preparing for this moment her whole life…
“OH GOD!” she said, utterly horrified.
“Man down,” I muttered, “I think it's food poisoning.”
“SOCKS AND WALKING SANDALS!” She screamed, “What were you THINKING?”
For the next 7 hours I was back and forth to the bucket. Katie was always on hand with bottled water and endless sympathy and even as I lay on the courtyard floor in the rain, telling her to save herself and go back to bed, she refused.
So all, I've nothing to tell you about Xingping, but what I have learnt is: when travelling in China take pyjamas, and, at all costs, avoid eating eggs!