There will be many stories (when I get around to them—been busy on a paying project this week! — that include me turning a lovely shade of green. Most of them revolve around a trip to California. But this time, this was a retch of international proportions.
My husband and I had wanted to go to Europe, probably since we had been married. I had been to Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic while we were dating and we had been to Japan together, but he had never been to Europe. Due to the short amount of time we would have, we chose two locations that we wanted to see the most: England and Italy.
Our timing was impeccable. We were a few weeks after the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and days before the opening ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics. Most importantly, our friends Peter and Katherine who lived outside of London had just had a baby that we were able to visit.
Since our two locations in Europe were really nowhere near each other, we had a short flight from London to Rome. We awoke early and rode the Tube back to Heathrow. Along the way, we stopped for a cup of coffee, I pondered grabbing a “flapjack” which seemed like a slightly more caloric granola bar, and passed. We decided to wait for breakfast until the airport. I had taken my vitamins, as per my usual routine, and my iron was in my belly with a cup of coffee. This turned out to be a terrible combination.
By the time we made it through security, my stomach was feeling quite queasy. I knew that I needed to eat something to balance some of the effects of the Iron and coffee. We walked up and down the airport wing, and I couldn’t find any places that looked quick and appetizing for food. I had some last minute souvenirs to buy, so we began to look for those while my stomach was roiling. I finally told Tim I had to go to the bathroom. I sat down and felt fine, but knew I couldn’t wait any longer to eat. I walked across the hall from the bathroom to a little store and picked out fruit and a sticker for my Nalgene- bottle-that- will-never -die, to buy. I was waiting in line to check-out when I knew I had waited too long.
I set the items on the cooler next to my position in line and began to run out of the store, gagging in my mouth as I went. I glanced to the left and right once outside the store, looking for a trash can. I could not see one and did not have time to look. Later, we realized that security was most likely on high alert with the Olympics happening and London had been traumatized by bombs in garbage cans not that long ago. So, in reality there really probably weren’t many trash cans about.
I tried to cover my mouth and run across to the bathroom.
That just wasn’t happening. I tried, and without getting overly graphic, I exploded like the kids on the ride in Problem Child 2.
I made quite a mess all over the hallway and myself trying to find somewhere to go, I made it to a diaper changing room that had a sink and tried to clean up as best I could and clean up my mess. The white sweatshirt I was wearing was definitely not going to make it through this incident unscathed.
Meanwhile, out in the hall, my husband waited with our luggage. One of the many security officers who had come running (I did dash out of a store suddenly) was in the hall outside the bathroom and I could hear her disdainful drip tinged with British class as she said, “There is sick all over.”
I walked by apologizing and grabbed my suitcase from my husband as we hurriedly made our way to our gate so as not to miss our flight to Rome.
“Thanks for checking on me,” I said sarcastically, obviously feeling better.
“I figured one of us should stay out of legal trouble in a foreign country. “
Had friends and family been taking bets back home, I was not the favorite to be the one in trouble in a foreign country. Despite my secret fears that they would take my passport and we would have to stay in London, we boarded our flight to Rome all hopes of international incidents behind us.
Or so we thought…