My accomodation in Ubud, Bali is a ‘home stay’. If you’ve never been before the cheapest accomodation is a hostel, then home stay, and the upper eschalon a hotel. Let me set the scene… beautiful carved wooden doors, sculptures over the door frames, white drapes, four poster bed, beautiful Balinese bathroom with stone floor shower. Oh and then they made me change rooms! Bathroom- tiles from top to bottom with a shower facet that’s smaller than me that sprays the wall unless you take out the hand held option and shower one handed whilst holding the other hand over your head like a weird monkey dance. I am staying on Monkey Forest Road!
All of the rooms seem beautiful with garden views. No TV. No kitchen. The staff bring you a flask of tea each day. Lovely.
I’m trying to be more positive in 2020. I finished 2019 with a lot of anger, pent up resentment, fatigue, and frustration. I spoke with a friend and admitted that at times my downfall may be my own stupidity and I wondered, do a lot of things go wrong for me?! Some things are out of my control. That day my flight to Bali with Jetstar was cancelled and my tenants gave notice to leave my investment property. But this story is of one of the tiny little moments that led to my stupidity.
Daily balancing my blood sugars whether my body has too much sugar to process, or not enough, I found myself needing a sugary tea. So I stirred sugar into my cup of tea poured from the homestays daily flask. Problem solved and I went about my day. Later that night, quite parched and almost out of bottled water, I poured myself another cup of tea in the dark room. It was cold and putrid! And wriggling! I ran to the bathroom to spit out what I had left in my mouth and as I turned on the light I found the cup was filled with tiny ants floating around having a tea spa. Gross! I cursed the homestays stupid daily flask!
I washed out the cup to try to get rid of the ants and saw tiny grains of sugar stuck to the bottom of the cup. It wasn’t the hotels flask that the ants had crawled in to. It was my sugary cup I’d left out all day. Totally my fault!
It felt like the ants were still alive, floating down my throat and trying to swim to survive. I coughed. I dry heaved. I rinsed my mouth out with what water I had left. They weren’t going anywhere. After awhile things calmed down but I felt they had bitten my throat on the way down. It felt sore. Maybe swollen. Oh geez, what if these tiny ants bit my throat? What if I have an anaphylactic reaction?
I googled “Swallowing tiny ants” but that wasn’t helpful. Tried “tiny ants bit my throat”. That was a minefield. The most helpful thing I read said a reaction usually occurs in 2 hours. Okay, I’d try to relax and see if it got worse. I tried to watch Netflix but I imagined my throat getting tighter, it felt swollen but my tongue wasn’t swollen. I had my ventilin and some antihistamines just in case. Back to relaxing.
Fourty- five minutes later it felt no worse but no better! I took some more ventilin and if you’ve ever had to inhale ventilin you know it can make you a bit shaky. I looked at the time and it was getting later. I really had to go to sleep because I was getting picked up at 2am to go for a sunrise hike. I started to panic! What if I fell asleep, couldn’t breathe and didn’t wake up? What should I do? If I go to reception (because there’s no phones in this place) they barely speak English, they won’t know what to do! Do I try to sleep and if I wake up gasping, I can go outside and yell for help? I put clothes on. Even if I try asking the Balinese for advise they’ll probably just ask if I want the hospital. I can’t sit at a hospital for hours if I don’t need to. I’ll miss the hike and lose my money.
I can’t call my parents (like I usually do). It’s too late in Australia and I need to be a grown up. What would a grown up do?? Well I bought travel insurance for a reason. I’ll look up their emergency hotline. And the wifi stopped working. So I turned on my mobile data to find my Medibank Health Insurance.
Medibank email: The Medibank Travel Insurance helpline is 1300 362 544.
No answer, this number is Australia only. Add the international dial code, doesn’t work.
PDS: Our emergency assistance team is available to help 24 hours a day. Contact details can be found on your Certificate of Insurance (COI)
COI: Call Australia on +61 (2) 8907 5672.
Left brain: relax. Right brain: panic!
I know, I’ll try Australia’s ‘Nurse on call.’
Won’t connect, it’s just an Australian 1300 number.
Its now been two hours. I can either make a big deal out of this or just go to sleep. I suddenly feel an inescapable sob jump out of me. I’m meant to climbing a friggin volcano in a few hours! FFS! Why does this shit happen! And then I realise… maybe I’m panicing because I’m going to attempt to climb a volcano…
I make my decision. I’m going to go to sleep. They are just tiny little ants and I’m a big human. Humans have drunk ants before and survived. Humans have climbed volcanos before and survived. I’m a survivor. I’ll be fine.
And I was!
When I got out of bed again at 1:30 am I couldn’t believe that those tiny ants were almost my downfall. 2020 needs to be different for me. 2020 will be different for me. I better get started on that!