Spending time in Ubud is the name of Chapter 14 of the Short Travel Stories section at Gone Atlas. If you want to read more, click on the section with the same name on our menu. If you like the stories or want to share yours, leave a comment below!
Chapter 14: Spending Time In Ubud
The days in Bali were going good. After the Sky Garden episode everything went smooth and chilled. I learnt how to ride a scooter, although I don’t recommend learning my way.
We hired one for 40 thousand rupees per day for two days, with no insurance and we had no international license, which meant police could stop us and fine us. But well, you do what you gotta do. It was a great experience, adrenaline to the maximum level all the time because the streets are hectic, the traffic is fucked, it’s like the Wild West over there.
No joke we saw around three accidents per day, but it was worth it and it allowed us to visit Uluwatu’s beaches, it’s temple (amazing at sunset) and then Tanah Lot temple too.
After a few days I headed off to Ubud alone. I got a private room at a homestay for 100 thousand rupees a night (10 AUD or 7.5 USD), with a private bathroom, no air con, but free breakfast and wi-fi. Fair deal.
Ubud’s spectacular, relaxing, chilled, full of nice cafes, temples, a monkey jungle, bookshops and a nice market.
On the first night I went out to this small restaurant and got a chicken curry. It was going well, until I got back to my room. Then I got a super powerful headache and an instant fever. I thought it was due to my immune system collapsing from too much alcohol, partying and lack of sleep. So, I just went to bed.
However, I woke up half an hour later to throw up. Then I knew I was going to have a long night. And the vomit was joined by its faithful sidekick, the one that affects your lower body, if you know what I mean.
And so there I was, no sleep, fever, and a radioactive stomach.
I decided to give it a day, see how it evolved. I thought the vomit would eventually stop when my body expelled whatever it had taken (I had the same thing in Nepal three years ago and it passed after a couple of days). Not this time though. I ate boiled potato for the entire day, but everything that came in, came put 15 minutes later.
Next evening, I went to another restaurant to have the world famous and delicious, boiled potato. I was texting my mum to see what else I could do to feel better, when my fingers started feeling numb. Weird. The potato arrived and after one, two and three bites, my legs went numb, followed by my cheeks and then I started feeling dizzy.
Worried, I got up and it was a hassle to take out 20 thousand rupees to pay for the meal. I went into the main street and asked a motorcycle taxi to take me to the nearest doctor.
“You ok brother?” he asked.
“Yes man, just take me immediately to the doctor. I feel like I’m gonna pass out, so I’m gonna hug you pretty strong, and you be careful!”
I was super scared at this point, my body was cold, I was dizzy and weak. I fought against passing out as if it was a life or death matter.
We made it to this small clinic and the driver had to help me to the door, where the nurses probably saw my zombie look and sat me down and asked for my information. I had to sign everything but I couldn’t feel the pen, so I just sort of scribbled on the paper.
They laid me down on a bed, ad the doctor came up asking if I was afraid of needles. I said I wasn’t, and he put me an IV on my forearm. Then gave me some juice with electrolytes and a pill for the fever.
I managed to tell the nurse to grab my phone, open Whatsapp and text my mum saying I was fine and at the doctor. I usually don’t do this, but she was already nervous because I was feeling like crap. Good job nurse!
Anyways, to shorten it up, I fell asleep and woke up two hours later covered in sweat, with the nurse sitting next to me, like making sure I didn’t die or something. Then at that point they took my blood samples for a test, to check if I had dengue fever.
It could be since I had been working at the banana farms in Australia just a couple of weeks before.
I had to wait for two hours for the results, and fell asleep again. But I was in that state in which your mind crosses over from the dream state to the reality state, like delirious.
Finally, they woke me up, told me it was only a bacteria. Phew! However, I had to take antibiotics for a week, and a tasty diet of boiled potato and white rice with no salt. Yummy!
I had to pay a bill of 85 USD, which included the doctor’s treatment, the blood test and the antibiotics.
I left the clinic and to my surprise the motorcycle driver was there, waiting for me. He took me back to the homestay, and got down to explain to the lady running it what had happened and what I needed. Great man.
I ended up staying in Ubud for four more days. The lady treated my like a child, fed me for breakfast, lunch and dinner, free of extra cost. Ubud went from being the epicenter of chaos, to becoming the paradise of recovery, even if that included a diet of potato and plain rice.