Two posts in one day, whew. I know it is a lot. But when you are home from work, I HAVE NOTHING ELSE TO DO. Plus, Craig wrote the other one. Well, the sickness is starting to subside, for me at least. The cat hit the carpet three times, and I lost count in the garage. She and Craig are both passed out right now. Next year- flu shots all around. But I digress. All of this sick talk has stirred up memories of my absolute favorite barf story of all time. It isn’t funny, just pathetic. But I love to tell it and we are just in that sort of mode this week so here goes…
As our three readers know, I spent some time in Italy a few years ago. As they also probably know, I am EXTREMELY lactose intolerant. Such as, half a cup of milk will make me puke. However, I was in serious denial about this for years. Sure, it was unusual to get food poisoning a few times a month, especially from your own cooking, but hey, denial is a powerful tool. So I enjoyed my nightly trip to Coco Palm for gelato (Italian ice cream) and more often than not felt slightly queasy every morning.. but such was life.
That fateful day we were all in Venice for an extended field trip, staying on the Lido- a small island that is a short 20 minute water taxi ride away from the rest of Venice. That morning, I was absolutely STOKED to see that the hotel was offering corn flakes for breakfast. (Three months of nothing but crusty bread is hard on breakfast-loving folk like me.) So I ate three gigantic bowls of cereal. Three HUGE heaping overflowing bowls. My roommate pointed out I might want to take it easy because Italians use goat milk instead of pasteurized milk which can be hard on Americans. Did that put me off? No way.
Off we went on the rocking, swaying water taxis to Venice to tour St. Marks. So here we are on the tour, and I am thinking, man I totally ate way too much cereal. I was even thinking I need to get something to settle my stomach. So about noon, we head for a pizza place. Sitting in a smoky bar with my stomach rumblings growing louder, I finally clued in to the fact that I may be experiencing a tad bit of nausea and it might not be a bad idea to return to the hotel to rest for a bit.
Me: What do you think it is guys? Maybe the Chinese last night? (Yes they have Chinese food in Italy. Ask me sometime about the “Fried Dick” we found on the menu, I kid you not.)
Them: That, or the 5 gallons of goat milk you drank this morning.
If anyone reading this knows anything about Venice, you know that city is impossible to find your way around in. But, after a little wandering, I managed to find a water taxi by myself, even finding one that went back to the island, even though it wasn’t exactly the one my friends told me to look for. But there was one little glitch- the taxis run two directions. I happened to pick the one that just CAME from the Lido and would be making over an hours worth of rocking, swaying, sickening stops before depositing me at my destination.
Needless to say, by the time I stepped off that boat I was definitely green. The hotel was only 5 blocks away from the dock so I set off running. I think it was block number 3 that I erupted. And yes, that is the only possible word to describe it. All down my wool coat, all over the sidewalk. Not once, or twice, but continuous puking. Unfortunately, 6 or so cups of goat milk gave my tummy plenty of ammunition to make this last for another two hours, though I eventually made it to our room. (There is a reason why my roommates dubbed our bidet the “vomitorium”) I managed to call my mom in between bouts and tell her I was dying of some horrible virus and I loved them very much just in case I never saw them again before I hung up on her to continue the puking. (FYI-Parents don’t appreciate these types of calls when there is no way for them to call you back and you don’t think to let them know you are fine until the next day.)
Well, after a miserable afternoon my stomach was completely empty but aching. I spent the rest of the Venice trip in bed in a tiny hotel room with one news channel, in Italian, while the rest of my classmates explored Venice-calling it the most wonderful trip ever. I called it Puke-ville and the only things that pop in my mind when someone says the word “Venice” are water taxis and that wool coat. Which I still do own, wrapped in trash sacks in a plastic container in our basement. And I never dried cleaned it-evidence that this terribly gross, long-winded, and more or less completely pointless story is absolutely true.