Thursday, October 08, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Although it feels so good to be back in the States, I miss Romania like crazy. Mircea and I had a great visit and we’re already seriously planning how we can return permanently. More about that in a future post-it’s more of the 5 – 10 year plan, though I’m sure our future children will be upset to find out that we could have lived in the land of fast food and consumerism, but they’ll learn to appreciate the fresh vegetables and free education.

I’m still working on organizing all the photos, writing my blog posts, etc., but I wanted to take a moment to tell the whole story about the last few days of our trip (totally out of order I realize).

On the Thursday before we left I started feeling a little intestinal dissonance. We had some pizza at a local restaurant and I basically went home and went to bed. I woke up in the middle of the night to a fire storm in my bowels, and after a night of massive vomiting and diarrhea I woke Mircea up and explained that we needed to go to the hospital as I was in serious pain. At about 6 am we had his uncle take us to the hospital where I was seen by the broken-English-speaking Doctor within 10 minutes of arriving and had an IV hooked up within 15. Mircea wasn’t allowed to be in the ER, so I had to utilize my limited Romanian to communicate with the nursing staff. I kept quietly murmuring “Sunt Frica”, which is “I’m scared” and they comforted me and I finally fell asleep from the drugs. When I woke up I proceeded to watch the parade of gawkers that “had to see the American” and laughed that I was probably the first American they had ever seen-sweating through my Purdue t-shirt and hair that looked to be in dreads as it had been a couple days since I’d bathed. I was transferred to the communicable diseases hospital (yeah, that scared me) and Mircea informed the Doctor that I couldn’t stay the 2 days they wanted me to stay and that they had to, and I quote, “get her well enough to get on a plane and get home without setting off any alarm bells” and the Doctor gave me enough drugs to stop me up for a week. (You know how I know that-I’m still living the dream!) I basically spend the rest of the day in bed, trying not to soil myself (FAIL) and drifting in and out of hallucinogenic sleep. It was wild. Mircea was gone most of the afternoon for events that he couldn’t miss and I spent the day under the watchful eye of his adorable but non-English speaking Grandmother. We found our own way to communicate and had a nice time together. At about 5 pm I began hearing the comforting sounds of Heavy Metal bursting through the window as I was lucky enough to have almost front bed seats to a Heavy Metal festival in the square outside. Oh joy! They played until about 10 pm and we’d planned on leaving at 2 am for the airport so my sleep was nothing short of fitful (in between all the bathroom trips-I think I was going on about 2 hours of sleep)

Mircea’s dad picks us up at 2, we somehow get to the airport (I swear I drifted in and out of consciousness several times from the pain) and we wait to get on our plane. During this wait I realized that I couldn’t stand up without throwing up, which really drove home that sense of “wow, this is going to be a nightmare flight” that I’d been feeling. We get on the bus that is going to take us to the plane and I sat in the corner seat and basically began heaving onto the bus…not puke bag, no nothing. Just quiet heaves in the corner hoping that none of the other passengers would report my communicable diseases or freak out. I threw up THE ENTIRE way from Romania to Hungary; mostly just dry heaving into a bag on Mircea’s lap. We got to Budapest and waited in a long security line where ironically another man was getting seen my paramedics as he’d complained about not feeling well right in front of me. We made it up to the lounge and thankfully, slept off and on for about 4 hours and the vomiting subsided for me.

The nine hour flight was uneventful, other than the A-hole Hungarian guy behind me who kept kicking my seat and I finally had to ask him to stop and he freaked out because I had woken him up (so he could remove his boot from my ass) and began swearing in Hungarian. Too bad Mircea was asleep or we could have had an International incident. We’re about 20 minutes from landing when the pilot says that there is bad weather and we’ll be a little late. I’d been talking to the woman across the aisle, asking about Customs, etc., and she’d made the comment to Mircea “get her a Valium; she’s too worked up about this”. Well about an hour into the circling, this woman became insane “Why can’t they land this plane? I’m going to miss my other f-ing flight. Delta doesn’t care, etc.” It was beautiful. Who needs a Valium now, spaz? We finally land but spend another HOUR on the tarmac waiting to get off the plane. You’re not supposed to get up but finally I burst from my seat and explain to the stewardess that my kidneys might actually burst (they might have) and I rushed to the bathroom. Thank God because when we finally got off the plane we had about 30 minutes to go through Customs, recheck our bags, go through Security and get to the entire other side of the airport. I swear to you it was a mile. I SWEAR. AND I RAN THE ENTIRE THING. Seriously. 16 hours before, I’d been puking in the corner of a bus, but I ran my freaking heart out to get on this plane, which we made with about 10 minutes to spare (it was worth it). We finally get to Dulles after a couple of other delays and see Mike and Rodica (Mircea’s stepdad and Mom for those keeping score). We get our bags, load up the car, and start telling them our adventure…when I say “do you smell that-oh, the temp is high!” on the car and we pull over on the side of the road. Five miles from the airport we are broken down. Mircea and I almost break down ourselves, but manage to not throw ourselves into traffic or explode in tears or anger (or pooh).

We all decide that we’ll call AAA, have the car towed locally and get a cab to take us back to the airport when where we’ll get a rental car. Easy, right? Logical? Legal? Yes. The tow truck driver comes first, loads up the Jaguar, and says “I’ll take you all to the airport”. Well that’s nice. For two miles I figure all 5 of us can jam into the truck cab. We’re not in the car 20 seconds when Mike says “How much to take us all the way to Southern Maryland?” Mircea and I sort of laugh like “really, really?” and the guy is like “no, no, too far” and we breathe a sigh of relief. But somehow Mike convinces him to take us the TWO HOURS down to Southern Maryland and we’re like “Mike, we can’t sit this way for this long” so the genius tow truck driver says “why don’t you two go sit in the car?” Fast forward through our swears and complaints and you’ll see my ass being hoisted up into the Jaguar and the driver saying “keep your heads down so we don’t get caught”. The first 20 minutes of the drive were terrifying and Mircea and I cursed Mike quite a bit, I almost peed in the car (“Go right on the leather Kate, he deserves it!”) but I finally fell asleep when Mircea and I took the extra boxer briefs we’d packed (for me) “just in case” and put them over our heads to shield our eyes from the blinding lights of the tow truck. We woke up when we got home about 2 hours later and laughed to ourselves as the truck driver tore up their front yard trying to get out (yeah, we were getting spiteful) and got in our truck and got home, swerving twice to avoid hitting deer.

The Gods were against us returning to our beds, but when we got home (33 hours after we got up in Romania) and we were greeted by the happy purrs of Fern and Lily (who spent the entire night with me, kissing and loving and as I found out later, saying goodbye) we knew we were home, it was all worth it, and we somehow lived to tell about it.


Chantelle @ photo mommy said...

Wow. I hope the rest of your trip went better than the traveling home! Did you ever find out what made you sick?

Patty said...

Now THAT was an adventure! Well played, well played.

Missy said...

You poor thing! Being sick while traveling overseas - would truly suck. Glad to hear you had a wonderful time otherwise!