How $3 Antibiotics in Thailand Saved a Honeymoon Experience

As with most young and brash romantics, my [then] boyfriend and I had grandeur dreams of globetrotting for weeks on end, with no strings attached. By the time we tied the knot, we conveniently had no company to pledge loyalty to and no physical space to call home — so we packed our bags and left for a two-month-long honeymoon. (It was all part of a grand scheme.)

The first week in Tokyo was exactly what a honeymoon ought to embody — beautiful weather, clean laundry, thrilling adventure — perfect health augmented by long treks, fueled with Michelin stars to sidewalk steals. The best part of it all? The reputable fish market finds.

What started out as an innocent foray into authentic sushi soon transformed into a daring gastronomic pursuit. First came the fatty tuna and familiar friends (which we welcomed whole-heartedly), then arrived the baffling compound characters, like half-beak and sea-bream — mind you, in raw form. Pretty soon, we were eating chicken and horse sashimi like it was #NBD, with the #YOLO motto goading us on in the background.

Before I knew it, my body was vehemently protesting and rejecting even the most basic form of sustenance — water. The exhilaration that came with travel soon turned into anxiety, and every convenient form of transportation soon became a huge encumbrance. Train rides made me claustrophobic, long flights exacerbated my nausea, even short walks through the airport made me spin with vertigo. By the end of our brief stay in Singapore, I was shriveling up from dehydration and burning up from a 107-degree fever.

Miraculously though, I always made it through the airports, and we found ourselves as clueless tourists in yet another hot and humid city: Bangkok. By this time, I knew I needed something more than Tylenol and “Singaporean imodium” (under another label), so as my husband looked up hospitals and doctors with the concierge, I did as much symptomatic research as I could online. Pretty soon, he got directions to a pharmacy nearby where we could just “pick up some meds”, and I found an antibiotic I was willing to self-prescribe and try: Ciprofloxacin.

That $3 pack of redemption did not require a doctor’s prescription or an insurance card, just a look of urgent necessity and eternal gratitude.

Thank you, pharmacist, at the Boots next to the Chong Nonsi BTS station.

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This post was originally published on the Healtho blog.