Thursday, May 22, 2008

It smells like summer

Undertook an epic journey today as I walked from the heart of Kemptown to farthest Hove (almost into Shoreham). Took an hour of super-fast left-home-too-late walking to get there, and then a delightful two hour stroll back along the seafront.

It's a beautiful day by the sea today, and as I walked past Brunswick Square I got a waft from the cut grass on the squares communal lawn. Being a bit of a country boy originally this particular aroma really fires my 'scent association' to 'summer time'.   After getting a lung full the next association kicked in; fucking hay-fever. 

I wonder, will I get hay-fever in SE:Asia?

Jabbed in Hove

The reason I was in Hove was to get some more jabs at the travel clinic. Although my local GP is just round the corner you can't get everything there; Japanese Encephalitis and my Malaria tabs are dished out by the travel clinic and are not NHS sanctioned.

So,  had a second round of jabs; I am now 1/3 inoculated against Japanese Encephalitis. Joy. 

I just know I'll get all my jabs done, get to SE:Asia feeling invincible and get hit by a bus. 

The travel clinic staff were incredibly friendly and helpful and then I realised that it was a private clinic, which totally explained why the service was so good. Hmm... funny how not dealing with smack heads but paying customers can improve your disposition. 


There appears to be two options for my malaria tabs;

1. Doxycycline 

Doxycycline is an antibiotic that prevents the development of parasites in the blood that cause malaria. You need to take it 1 or 2 days before you enter the malaria zones (for me this is Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and border areas with China) everyday you are there and then 4 weeks after you leave. The 4 weeks is paramount. It has a few side effects, mostly making you feel a bit rough and that. 

This costs circa 29 quid for 50 tabs

2. Malarone

Malarone is a better drug, a combination medication that stops the development of parasites in the blood that cause malaria. It has no really unpleasant side effects (in comparison to Doxycycline) and you only need to take it a couple of days before you enter the malaria hot zone, every day you are there and a couple of days after. 

However, it costs circa 40 quid for 12 tabs!!!

Now, my problem is I don't know exactly how long we'll be in the malaria areas, it could possibly be anywhere up to a few months which means if I take Malarone (which everyone has recommended) it'll cost a fortune. 

I think the thing is, most people that have recommended Malarone only stayed in malaria hotspots for a few days or a couple of weeks, in which case 100 quid on meds doesn't seem too bad.

Loulou reckons the Bermondsey Mission is dishing them out to her free. Hmm... 

How much?

This travelling lark ain't cheap. It's already starting to cost a fortune; I know once I get there everything is dirt cheap, but getting there may skint me out.

What kind of food do you suppose they serve here?

A gem of a restaurant I walked past this morning in Hove...


I immediately snapped the place with my phone and sent it to my Frenchie flat mate, who previously had been asking me about decent places to eat in town. 

Obviously I was being well cheeky... 

Her reply?

'I hear it's quite good'...


garfer said...

I hope you realise that the most enjoyable part of travel is the planning and the anticipation (apart from the jabs).

Actually, I'm just being a jealous bastard and beating myself up because I can afford to do what you are about to do and am not doing it.

Is that fish with spiny barbs that swims up your willy a native of the Mekong or the Amazon?

Herge Smith said...

I think (hope) it's the Amazon - nasty, and really tricky to get out, opens up like an umbrella.

Believe me, once this is done and over with and I'm back slaving in a job i hate I won't be able to afford to go anywhere farther south than the isle of wight.

PLUS - you live in an area of outstanding beauty and i bet now the summer is coming on again it's simply stunning!!!

You know it makes sense.

MJ said...

Is that where you got the greasy weenie?

Sniffy said...

I was talking to a friend who'd had a a kidney stone removed by something that was shoved up his willy and opened up like an umbrella. I wish I'd have known about the fish at the time.

I couldn't be bothered going somewhere where I'd need vaccinations; it's bad enough working in a hospital. Dirty places full of foreigners. Actually, instead of going on your tour, you could just spend three months touring various NHS hospitals and GP surgeries.

Piggy and Tazzy said...

Please, please, please come back with some new kind of disease never encountered before.

Just think, you'd get fame and glory as a result.

And we'd be able to read all about your daily encounter with unexpected side effects.

Nothing fatal, you understand. Just exciting and unheard of. And with strange side effects like shitting Chihuahua's and blackcurrant jelly.

Herge Smith said...

P&T - i already have suffered with a 'new' disease - Stephacockaliticus.

It was a horrible struggle.

MJ - I keep my greasy weenie private

Tina - I live about 1 minute from the royal sussex hospital - one of the worst MRSA hospitals there is . No way you're getting me in there, don't care what vaccines I have.

Sniffy said...

Vaccines won't help you against the diseases harboured by the NHS, but a cocktail umbrella up your willy might.

Piggy and Tazzy said...

Or a twizzle stick.