Do you think this water came from a bottle?

Well, I had a good run. I made it just over a week, but it was bound to happen. Stomach problems.

Let me first say that it isn’t that bad. A day of general nausea and a few extra trips to the bathroom, but after day 2 I wish I could say that I was back to 100%.

With no food safety regulation here (as I’ve been told), every time you eat out it’s a roll of the dice. Everyone seems to have a story.

  • One person said that having stomach problems is a once every month or two occasion.
  • Another person said she was bedridden on her second day in the country.
  • Another person said that she had a bout of general queasiness that didn’t go away for about a month.
  • Another person said he had a full-blown parasite, and it wasn’t something rare.
  • One of the people currently hosting me was out of the office for a few days last week due to stomach problems.

With that said, I had been taking precautions.

  1. Only eat at restaurants where others have already eaten and said is ok.
  2. Only drink water that you have seen come from an unopened bottle.
  3. Don’t drink anything that has ice in it.
  4. Don’t eat raw vegetables.
  5. Don’t eat street food.
  6. Don’t eat anything that looks like it has sat out for a while.
  7. Personal note: Try to avoid anything too spicy.

Now, to be fair, I have broken some of these rules since coming here, but I haven’t felt too bad about them in the past. But Monday night I blatantly broke two rules that both made me feel uneasy at that point in time.

I went to a Japanese restaurant that I hadn’t spoken to anyone else before who had tried (later finding out that someone else had stomach problems after eating there), and I drank water that I didn’t see come from a bottle. Keep in mind that this is a mid-range restaurant with a glass facade, nice decor, and a full restaurant (we had to wait for a table).

Just as everyone has a horror story, everyone has a remedy. These seem to fall into three categories.

  1. Probiotics such as Bioflor to boost your stomach with good bacteria.
  2. Medication such as Pepto-Bismol for symptom relief.
  3. Anti-bacterials such as Azithromycin to wipe out everything, good and bad, in your stomach.

I’ve taken the Probiotics so far (the natural route), which will hopefully do the trick!

The trifecta:

DSC08549

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