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The Food Life: Doctor’s Orders

written by Charity Keita 7th August 2015

Charity Keita is not a happy bunny during her romantic getaway to the coast.

There is one kind of wine I really hate. In fact, I despise it so much that I feel forced to dedicate an entire column to its horrid nature. The wine I hate is not the predictable sweet chardonnay, sweet rose or sweet anything for that matter (although I do find them all pretty darn foul). The wine I despise is that which I am not allowed to drink when I am on a relaxing holiday by the beach.

I suppose I should explain myself. At the time of writing, I am sitting on a Lamu day bed under a breezy fan. The Malindi sun is shining brightly and Luan has just dived into the cute little kidney-shaped pool that comes with the cottage we have rented. A light lunch of deconstructed nicoise salad has recently been consumed. “So what’s the problem?” I hear you ask. The problem, my dear readers, is that I had come this way to have a romantic and well deserved getaway.

It was a spur of the moment decision: I woke up last monday morning and said, “to hell with it, we’re going to the coast!”. I then promptly headed to the JamboJet website, found that tickets to Malindi were cheapest, bought two returns and then found this delightful little third row cottage through a friend. We spent the week excitedly planning menus and the delicious wines that would go with them.

And then what happened? Well, at 4am on Saturday morning, just a few hours before we are to depart, I wake up with a tickle in
my throat. I proceed to get on the flight anyway but by midday the tickle has developed into an ache and by nighttime the ache has become a full blown infected tonsil. By Sunday I am in tears, unable to swallow anything. I eventually give in and head to the Maimoon medical centre, the only open place in town, where they put me on a drip for four hours, tell me sternly that I should have come in earlier and set me on a course of intravenous antibiotics which leave me incapacitated and with a large needle permanently stuck in my arm.

By Tuesday I have a meltdown and head back to the medical centre, demanding that they take the alien object out of my sensitive vein and find some other way to administer their antibiotics. The doctor decides he’s had enough of my whining, gives me some pills and sternly sends me off. Possibly the fact that I yelped and screamed every time they inserted a new batch of drugs (did I mention that I have an irrational needle phobia?) did not endear me too much to the medical staff, whose main interest appeared to lie in watching the clock, counting the seconds before they could break their Ramadan fast.

So, the good news is that because I am by no means fully recovered, the doctor advises me postpone my flight. “Hurray!” I rejoice, thinking this will mean at least a day of beach. Turns out though that the doctor had misprescribed my medicines which means I eventually have to go elsewhere, only to be signed up to a whole new round of antibiotics which all come with the same warning: do not drink alcohol! So here I am, one week later, still in Malindi and not a glass of wine, wine spritzer or aperol spritzer has passed my lips. There are emoticons that appropriately encapsulate how I feel about this.

In case you ever read this Luan, thanks so much for putting up with me as I reverted into a whimpering, whining and entirely unbearable sick child these last few days. I really am an awful patient and you really are a patient nurse.

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