Eating, Sweating, Diarrhea-ing

29 Oct

I met Dan last week when we were both setting up our cell phone connections.  He is from Germany and also a researcher affiliated with the same university that I am.  We exchanged e-mail addresses and decided to have dinner this week.

Tuesday night we met in front of the university gates and discussed where to go.  My landlords had suggested Orchid, a restaurant that is a short rickshaw ride away.  There is also Vijay Punjab, just a block away and right across the street from my apartment.  It’s a cozy little restaurant, lit by paper lanterns.  The host sat us in a booth in the back by the kitchen, under a fan as I requested.

We opened the menu.  I didn’t understand most of it, but there were plenty of meat options, so I was all set.  I asked if they had chicken kabobs, my craving of the day.  Affirmative.  We ordered a salad, rice, and naan, and the waiter suggested a lamb curry as well.  Why not?

The salad came first, along with a huge bottle of water.  I began drinking it immediately.  Sitting under a fan really did nothing to keep me from sweating.  Those of you who know me know that I don’t sweat in the cute way that most girls do.  You know, how they say, “I’m sooo sweaty,” and wipe one little bead of sweat off their foreheads. No, no.  I SWEAT.  Let me paint you a little picture: A few years ago, I came home from the gym one night and my roommate met me at the door.  “Oh, wow, I didn’t know it started raining,” she said when she saw me.  “It didn’t,” I said. “I’m just sweaty.”

The chicken kabobs came out.  There was an assortment of flavors, spiced mild, medium spicy, and hot, which were doing nothing to keep me cool, but they were delicious–so juicy and perfectly seasoned.  I continued to sip water.  I was about to finish the last two pieces of chicken on my plate and just stopped, fork midway to my mouth.  I heard my stomach growl and felt like it was doing somersaults (a la Bradly Cooper in Wedding Crashers after Owen Wilson puts something in his wine).  Uh oh.

“Sir, where’s you restroom?” I asked the waiter, trying to stay calm.
“The loo?”
“Yes, yes, the loo,” I said.
“Come, I will show you.”

He took me to the front of the restaurant then through another section of booths and finally through a door that led to the kitchen and the loo.  The door was locked.  “Someone is in there,” he said.  Oh, dear God Please don’t let me puke or crap all over myself, I prayed.  A man, who happened to be sitting in the booth behind Dan and me, joined me in the queue.  Great.  I was feeling lightheaded and on the verge of getting sick in one form or another.

The door to the loo opened.  The smell alone was enough to make me vomit.  I held my breath and unbuttoned my pants, then noticed there was no toilet paper.  Fuck!  I couldn’t do it.  I had already drip-dried once in a public loo, but this situation would require toilet paper.  Shit, shit, shit!

I unlocked the door, and walked to the front door as quickly as I could, trying not to look panicked.  I reached the entrance of the restaurant and sprinted.  I ran across three lanes of traffic and into the median; I waited for my chance to cross the other lanes, then ran even faster, straight to my front door.  I unlocked the main door to the house.  My landlords were sitting at their table having dinner.  “Back from Orchid already?” they asked.  “No, no,” I said as I began running up the stairs to my apartment, “I was across the street but I don’t feel well.”

I lunged through the door and into my bathroom.  I was so thankful to be in my own bathroom with toilet paper and to have only been across the street from my apartment.  It was not a pretty situation.

Then I remembered Dan was sitting there, alone in the booth, probably eating the lamb and wondering where the hell I was.

I splashed some water on my face and made my way back downstairs.  I felt so much better.  He better not have eaten all the lamb.

“Are you ok?” my landlords asked as I ran back out the door.  “Yes, I’m just adjusting to India,” I laughed.

I went back, and the guy at the neighboring booth started clapping.  “Welcome back!”

“This guy told me he saw your run across the street,” Dan said, pointing to the guy applauding my return. “But I told him you just went to the bathroom.”

“Well, both are true,” I said.  “I live across the street and this situation warranted a trip to my own bathroom.”

Feeling much better, I scanned the table to see what remained.  “There’s another piece of lamb left,” Dan said.  Perfection!

I proceeded to eat the best lamb curry, naan, and rice I have EVER tasted.  I had the pleasure of listening to the guys in the booth behind us–who were pretty intoxicated–sing “Strawberry Fields.”  One of them even gave me a present–a mouse that he fashioned out of wire earlier in the day (I didn’t understand, but just went with it).

So, aside from Mother Nature getting the best of me for a little while, I had one of the best meals of my life.  And, I’ve granted Ann’s wish of finally writing about diarrhea in my blog (and justifying its title).


7 Responses to “Eating, Sweating, Diarrhea-ing”

  1. Mom October 29, 2010 at 8:02 am #

    Sweetie, you knew, it was bound to happen sooner or later- I’m just glad you were close to your own place when it did!

    • Yankee Doodle dANNdy October 31, 2010 at 6:22 am #

      wait, RoRo, I didn’t know you’ve seen wedding crashers. I LOVE that movie. We should discuss it sometime.


  2. carolyn October 29, 2010 at 8:57 pm #

    I laughed out loud reading this!

  3. Jess October 29, 2010 at 10:13 pm #

    Oh dear, that was the funniest thing I have read in awhile. I was cracking up at my cube. Miss you tons and can’t wait to hear more!


  4. Krista November 1, 2010 at 12:38 am #

    You cracked me up with this one! And, girl, I do understand what it means to be a sweaty girl. I can sit at yoga class and already feel beads forming… Hope this teaches you to carry kleenex! 😉

    • Steph November 1, 2010 at 12:41 am #

      Hello, beautiful. Yes, travel packs of Kleenex go everywhere with me now!


  1. One Month India-versary « Eat Sweat Diarrhea - November 15, 2010

    […] rite of passage as an outsider.  I survived some of the worst intestinal issues of my life.  That little incident in the restaurant was nothing. (And, if you don’t want to read about diarrhea, then skip the next three […]

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