Saturday, October 06, 2007

Days 6 to 8: Time Flu


Read…watch TV…snooze…herbal tea (I know I’m ill when I think, “mmm, peppermint tea”)…read…go to bed…kept awake by cough…sneeze…etc.

Like the pullover and the extra socks I didn’t really need, I brought this flu virus with me from Munich. My youngest was just coming down with it the morning I left and T-M came down with it the day before I did. It was having its own little holiday, incubating slowly somewhere in my bloodstream or wherever these bastard things incubate and finally burst into the attack on Friday afternoon and quickly overwhelmed my immune system.

Hate the flu. Hate this feeling of suddenly being a hundred years old, of being dizzy without having had a drink, of aching without doing exercise and the horrible, painful dry phlegmmy coughs which rattle and burn in your chest. There is just no choice but to lie forlornly in a sweaty feverish heap, reading books through tired dusty eyes or watching Greek TV just to try and get the time to pass a little less like thick treacle. It also doesn’t help that just outside you can hear everyone enjoying the weekend in the tavernas all around.

I dragged myself out this evening for a walk. Just had to get out but you can’t argue with the flu. I went up the hill and through the old Byzantine walls, avoiding North Face of the Eiger Street, to the little supermarket I had discovered the other day to get a few things. I was already feeling dizzy and sweaty. On the way back I passed a gyros place and I thought I have to have one. Haven’t had one yet and who knows if I will have time – so I went in and ordered a gyros. Up until fluday on Friday I had always looked forward to having a chat with people in shops and things but here I really didn’t and there seemed so many questions to answer.

Ena gyros



Na balloume ap’ ola?


Yia to cheri i se paketo?


Yia to cheri?

Oh, just give me the bloody thing, pal…

I walked up to the walls to eat it not realising he’d put ketchup on it. Ketchup!!!

Apart from that it was horrible, extremely salty and greasy…or was it just me?

I struggled flufully to eat half of it and threw the rest in the bin …ho hum. By the time I got back to the flat 10 minutes later I was quite exhausted and this was without the mountaineering normally required. I concluded that I was still not quite right.

Oh, and just before I got back to the flat something happened to me which invariably happens whenever I am in a place which I don’t know. Someone stopped their car next to me, rolled down a window and asked me where Blah Blah Street was. At that moment there were probably about twenty or thirty people in the street, excluding myself, all of whom were Greek and probably three-quarters of whom lived in the area and they all looked Greek which I decidedly do not. So why did she ask me? Why do people always ask me? People who are lost, drunks on the street and the sort of mentally deranged who travel on local trains and carry on long conversations with themselves all turn to me when they need something. Why???

Anyway, when I got back I risked a coffee, the first since Friday, and that seemed to go ok.

Now I am just counting up what I have drunk since I got here and I think it is true to say that the last time I drank so little on a holiday was the last holiday I had with my parents when I was a kid!

I wonder if I could slip a little drop of duty-free Hennessey past the flu police…perhaps with a coffee.

Good idea? Bad idea?

I will know tomorrow.

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