I spend the entire night shivering with fever as my skin burns up. It started almost immediately after we return from Jomblang Cave. I have a splitting headache and feel like I have just run a marathon. I try to take a shower but start to shake uncontrollably as soon as I undress. Unfortunately, the hot water isn’t working so I can’t get warm. Paul gets me an extra blanket from reception as I can’t get warm. He tells me that my skin is very hot. Between the cold and having to get up every hour to urinate I hardly get a wink of sleep.
I’m still exhausted and feverish when I wake. I have the runs and nausea. Things are looking grim but I can’t sleep so grab my laptop and head downstairs to do some work. An hour later Paul joins me and the Internet drops out. I am terrible company when sick so head back to bed.
It’s 1pm before I open my eyes again. Paul has come to keep me company and to have some extra sleep himself. I still feel under the weather but also know that if I not force myself to get up I could fall into a pile of misery. Dr Google had told me I probably have a gastrointestinal virus that will go away with rest, water, not eating too much and drinking some electrolyte mix. I’ve now slept, eaten nothing and drunk a few bottles of Pocari Sweat (the most common sports drink in Asia).
We walk down the road for a massage. It’s better than sitting around in the hostel but doesn’t take too much energy. Also, a reflexology massage might help my body recover a bit. After all, the process works on the whole body including the gut and head.
We try to have lunch at a cafe but I become nauseated at the thought of food. Instead I sit in the hostel common room to eat an apple and chat with both another guest and Oscar the owner. Paul ducks next door to an Italian restaurant for take away spaghetti bolognaise that costs four times the average cost of meals here but is tasty and clean and good to give his upset gut a rest too. Oscar is a young guy just 29 years old and he is running a wonderful guest house (OstiC House). It’s always wonderful to chat with locals and learn something of their lives and cultures.
I’m still feeling blah but Paul insists he doesn’t want to lay around the hostel all night. He doesn’t care where we go as long as we get out. He’s right too. Besides, it’s Independence Day so there is bound to be something happening.
We walk all the way to Malioboro Street. At first I hesitate and say I can’t make it that far. But the air is cool and there’s lots to see so before I know it we have walked the 4km (2.5 miles) from our hostel to Malioboro Street.
There’s so much happening here. People are dressed in crazy costumes taking money for photos. A man has snakes that you can hold for a photo (I don’t dare). Hawkers sell t-shirts, bags and other souvenir items. Food stalls spew forth the delicious smells of Indonesian street food as people sit on carpets eating from low plastic tables.
We indulge in the modern side of Indonesia with a cronut, donut and iced chocolate at J. Co. It’s delicious (though drinking milk was risky given my stomach’s earlier issues).
I even dare to eat, selecting some nasi kucing (cat rice – not made of any cats). I have two small parcels of the dish: rendang telor (egg in Indonesian curry) and a chicken dish (tiny chicken foot and neck). The portions are barely more than a mouthful; just enough to keep hunger at bay but not enough to challenge my gut.
I try to buy a t-shirt on the way back. I like the “My Trip My Adventure” shirts that I later learn are inspired by a National Geographic TV show. But I am too fat, even for the XL size (I must do something about that). I do find a sticker for my motorbike though so that’s a nice alternative.
We stop to listen to a band playing traditional instruments. They are very good. A crowd had gathered and many people (including me) take videos of the performance (or part of it). This area is a roadway though so a man with a whistle and orange baton manages the crowd to guide bicycles, becaks, scooters and passing pedestrians through the crowd. He’s very efficient and enthusiastic. Probably the effects of years of practice and working for tips.
I’m glad we went out because I feel much better. I still have a mild headache but my spirits have lifted and my gut feels more at ease. We even walk all the way back to the hostel instead of taking a becak like I had originally planned; taking our day’s total to about 13km. The walking is a nice way to see the city (I am seeing more of Yogya than I did last year when I was here with a scooter) and is also good training for my hike in Turkey next month.
We will return to Malioboro Street when we go back to Yogya before we fly home. We want to buy some gifts and maybe if I keep up the walking and running training over the coming three weeks I will fit into an XL t-shirt 🙂