Immodium Horribilis

The Boy, just after the departure lounge scatter

(Greg) Woke up at 4:30AM for a quick excursion from Aswan to Abu Simbel and back. The one boy who most loves all things Egypt has been throwing up all over himself and his mother most of the night. At 5AM we help him decide to suck it up.  We’ll be back by noon.

The 30 minute flight to Abu Simbel is supposed to leave at 6:55AM.  It is delayed by 90 minutes. Boy pukes at the news and the departure lounge scatters.  Plane finally takes off at 9:45 and lands in Abu Simbel at about 10:15.  We have 80 minutes to explore, but boy’s condition has worsened.  5AM Immodium dose is wearing off and dehydration is setting in, but Ramses II is waiting. Boy is plopped into wheelchair and pushed by turbaned man looking for large tips.

In Temple of Nefertari (where photography is forbidden) we find a perfect relief of the god Seth. This is rare and the boys have been “collecting” pictures of all the gods. I want to cheer up my kid in the wheelchair and covertly snap a low-light, no-flash shot. The two undercover thugs who immediately beset me are not impressed.  I am faced with camera confiscation. I argue innocence, point to my kid in the wheelchair and try to surreptitiously delete the evidence. Satisfied that the picture is vaporized, I am released with camera intact. Angry at my poor role modeling, I blame my innocent eldest daughter for inciting the photography scandal; a colossal moment of paternal weakness that has permanently scarred the daughter.  Excellent. Let’s get back to the airport!

The Boy in airport clinic post mystery oral tablet

Return flight scheduled for 11:45. We board at 1. Boy is ashen. We sit in the plane under the desert sun for an hour until we are informed that (surprise) the fuel is too hot and we cannot take off. Boy has captured the attention of twenty female Mexican Samaritans. After piling back into the terminal, one Samaritan finds the Egyptian clinic in the back corner of the airport. Boy is whisked to “clinic” where mother -speaking for now mute boy – refuses mystery suppositories but, inexplicably, accepts mystery oral tablets. Three hours later, the sun has cooled and so has the fuel. A mad scramble for seats ensues. Rabid mother secures six up front.

Flight lands at 6:15. Six hours late and 4 hours after our Nile boat left Aswan. Big complication: we have missed the last safety convoy tourists must take when traversing unsecured desert highways between towns at night. To address this problem, we are loaded into a minibus with full curtains drawn and told to “stay away from the windows and to get so very small and low at all checkpoints.” We are now the Von Trapps. Except Friedrich has the squirts. While quietly calculating how much larger the ransom will need to be to ensure that the bad guys stay away from my three women, the boy nudges me with urgency and dry heaves into my open hands.

Good news: we are safely in our beds. Immodium has been re-administered and no increased ransom was needed. Bad news: Captain Von Trapp is now sailing Friedrich’s stormy seas. The Captain, intent on testing sheet absorption properties, has just mistaken liquid for gas. Maria runs for the abbey. I miss Dover.

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13 Responses to “Immodium Horribilis”

  1. The Adamczyk Family 07. Oct, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    Oh my gosh I can’t imagine what you are going through right now. it must be really awful. anyway, the videos you posted are awesome i’ve watched all of them. I hope you are having a wonderful time in Egypt and I hope that you feel better soon.

    With all due respect,
    The Adamczyk Family

  2. Laura Adamczyk 07. Oct, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    When Mark and I were in Egypt in the early 1990’s, Mark had a similar digestive condition.

    SMECTA was the magical cure.

  3. That sounds really hard, but you will have many stories for the rest of your lives… I hope he feels better soon! I am interested in hearing more of your adventures and am following all of your stories.

    Mr. W

  4. Stop already! I want to be sympathetic about your misery but your writing is killing me :)) The last paragraph is just too funny! Keep up the humor. Cheers from beautiful Indian Summer Dover – Jens.

  5. ok, I hate to amuse myself at your expense, but this left me howling. Every trip has to have one episode of the runs and the good news is that you guys have had yours and your tummies are that much the tougher. Thanks for taking it with grace and humor — must be a few lbs lighter too…:) P

  6. Oh, gosh, pee in my pants (probably not a good metaphor) funny. Way to hang in there and Dana, Mother of the Year award goes out to you. Seems like things have gotten better. We miss you! The Brunis

  7. Great post! Hate to laugh, but very funny! Hang in their Captain and Crew. Hope you’re all feeling better soon! Continued safe journey….

    PS. MBM misses Alex!

  8. For some reason I didnt get your posts for quite some time and am just now catching up with them. I made the mistake of reading this one in the office and had several heads turned my way wondering why I was laughing so uproariously. Of course my only way to explain was to read your submission outloud to the whole office–tears were flowing as voluminously as the Nile. Well, maybe not quite that much but everyone had a hearty laugh. Hope you’re all well and fully recovered, Scott

  9. Wendy Darragh 23. Oct, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    This is my favorite post so far….Greg, not that I am the least bit surprised, but your writings are some of my favorite! Keep it coming…

  10. Michael just came home today and told us about connecting with Alex & Emma on Skype!! It was such a thrill for him to hear about some of your adventures.
    OMG.. This last entry had us all in tears!!! THANK YOU for sharing with us this fabulous and precious adventure. Sending you all a peaceful and thankful Thanksgiving. Safe passage!
    Our love,
    The Daly’s

  11. OHHHHH!! i know your better because i just video chatted with you and andrew and you were singing and dancing all over the place!!
    But i still feel bad and hope no body else gets sick on your amazing trip. its good to have fun memories not sick ones!


    see yah,

  12. Maria, you are a saint!!

    Isn’t that one of those moments to start humming “a few of my favorite things…”?


  13. BRIDGETTTTTTT 09. Jan, 2011 at 9:06 pm


    bridget aka abigail bridgeee