Diaries Magazine

Shivering Under the Cuban Sun

Posted on the 16 January 2014 by Tracy @talk2tr

I'm sick.  That's right.  You don't hear a word from me for 6 months and the first thing I do is whinge and complain that I am sick.
 
You see, I'm just getting over the Influenza.  It seems we've all had it, and a lovely time it was, right smack in the middle of our winter holiday. I blame Hacking Guy on Flight TS763 to Cuba.  It would seem that Hacking Guy was smart and wanted to rid himself of all his germs BEFORE he arrived at his tropical destination.  By all rights, he did a great job. Is riding in a tin can full of airborne contaminants the best way to travel?  We'll leave that discussion for another blog.
At any rate, we arrived at our destination like your average pallid yet enthusiastic tourists, amazed that we left the land of snow and ice and a mere 5 hours later emerged from our tin can into a tropical paradise at 27 beautiful degrees.  One day later we began to fall like dominos. 
There's something inherently wrong about sitting on a sandy beach, under a waving palm tree… blowing your nose.  When you run out of the 11 Kleenex you brought from home (because why would you even need that many, eh?), all that is left to do the job is a roll of Cuban toilet paper.  Believe you me, it ain't Charmin.   There is, in fact, not much difference between using the paper and using the cardboard roll in the center.  Here we were, sorry and sad, smelling like Vicks Vaporub instead of coconut suntan oil.  Our maid no doubt thought we were just a little bit crazy with the air conditioning turned off and extra blankets on the bed.  Instead of holding a cervesa in each hand, we were two-fisting Buckley’s and Nyquil.  My family went through a bottle of Advil.  A. Bottle. 
Yes, thank goodness for the drugs.  They made things quite tolerable actually.  There’s a remedy for everything out there now and for four hours at a time, you might not even remember you’re sick.  It seems to me when I would get the flu as a kid, there was almost nothing you could do about it.  You’d lie on the couch in a delirious fog, and every now and then your Mom would bring you a glass of tepid water, because of course cold water was off limits for some reason.  It would no doubt freeze your stomach or give you a cold in your back or something like that.  No sense making things worse.  
I suppose we did have Tylenol, but if you recall, they were in giant tablet form, pretty much the diameter of your windpipe.  Nothing was in easy-to-swallow capsule form back then.  I just chose to suffer the ravages of the flu as opposed to having two of those suckers lodged between my tonsils for days.  Ah, yes we were a tough lot, soldiering through seasonal illness with nothing more than a pack of those horrid white Halls and a Vicks Inhaler.  Remember those things?  Pardon me while I shove this tube up my nostrils for No Measurable Effect.

Shivering under the Cuban Sun

Dignified, eh?


I am grateful that things weren’t too bad and I am grateful for the drugs of this decade.  We still had some good times in the sun.  I was able to practice my broken-ass Spanish with some confused locals, we danced a salsa or two, frolicked weakly in the surf.  All was not lost. Another good thing is that my family will no longer roll their eyes when they see me packing up the large container full of ‘travel medicines’ the next time we go away.   Ya just never know.
Travel hint: Don't forget the damn Kleenex.

Shivering under the Cuban Sun

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