I had the worst chest pain. It started just before I got to Mendoza but the day that I was leaving it was extreme. I went to a pharmacy and got some strong paracetamol which helped for a while. My bus was at 10pm that night so I stayed at my hostel and tried not to move. When the time came for me to leave to head for the bus terminal, the thought of picking up my backpack scared the hell out of me. Somehow I managed to and got to the bus terminal and waited for my bus. While I was waiting, there were some pickpockets around. I’ve always been able to notice someone acting suspiciously and I already felt suspected that of these people but then one of the ladies working on the buses (not Olive), gave me a nod and looked at them too. I think I would have been arrested if they tried to take my stuff. I really weren’t in the mood for them. Plus I have my handy pocket knife conveniently in my pocket and I swear I would have used it. Well, in my head I would. I recently watched ‘The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty’. Ben Stiller as the lead role. I think my imagination has become like that. It takes me ages to watch a Ben Stiller movie. He makes me cringe. And then when I do, by the end of the movie I love him. I get on the bus from Mendoza to Buenos Aires. I’m in agony. I want to cry but I hold it in. I’m sitting next to a young girl. Maybe 15 years old. She took her jumper off. Then she put it back on. Then she took it off again. Then she put it back on. Then she took it off again. Then she laid it over herself. Then she clicked her fingers. Then she moved her body as if trying to get comfortable EVERY 10 SECONDS! Sometimes I’d try to count how long between each fidget and I wouldn’t get past 3 seconds. Listen, you have to make your own entertainment when on a bus and I also need to distract myself from this pain. I do this for the best part of 16 HOURS! The pain was so excruciating and I couldn’t move properly. I couldn’t even sit still properly. Just breathing or my beating heart was hurting. I text mum to tell her and to ask her to locate me a hospital with English speaking doctors for when I arrive. I would go and drop my bag off and then go. Several hours later it was worse and so I decided to go straight to the hospital. I never go to hospitals. The pain was the worst pain I ever had. I was really scared. And alone. Every time I text Mum or Sal it made me cry because I wanted either one of them to be here. Or for me to be back there. Mum asked me to start considering coming home. I said I already had. I think that made her worry more. If I could teleport, which is a thing I seem to be obsessed with and something I might start working on when I get home, then I would have. I couldn’t breathe without being in pain. I get a taxi from the bus terminal and am on my way to the hospital when I just break down. The driver looked confused as hell but could see I was in discomfort and told me to calm down and put the AC on and I drank some water. I calmed myself down as the crying and deep breathing were just hurting more. When I arrived at the hospital the security guard helped me straight to ‘check-in’ and I did. I couldn’t stop the tears. Which may have helped in me getting seen quicker. My lack of breathing also. I was seen by triage. And then no more than 15mins later by the doctor. He asked me to get up on the bed to lie down. This was such a task. I felt useless. Stupid. He asked if I was on my own and I said yes. Which made me cry again. He hooked me up to something like an ECG to check my heart. It was still beating. I could feel it. It was hurting too. But thankfully it was fine. I hoped it would be but there was a small doubt. I’m relatively fit. He listened to my chest and then asked me to sit up. I couldn’t. I couldn’t even manage to sit up without his help. He listened to my back and felt my chest and concluded I have torn a muscle in my chest. Really? That sounds like nothing to me. I feel like an idiot now. But let me tell you, this pain is no joke. I have never felt any pain like it. Only once before maybe when I fucked my shoulder from pulling too many pints with the same arm. Not joking. Nanny Muriel always told me to switch arms. I didn’t listen. Wish I had. Anyway, he gives me some painkillers via injection and tells me to stay still for a while. He comes back 20mins later and asks how I feel. I (almost) hop off the bed and skip out. No, but the painkiller is incredible. I can move and walk about. He said my backpack was too heavy and that I shouldn’t be lifting such things. Bullshit. I’ve lifted 9 keg cask ale barrels from the ground up on to a ledge that’s maybe 40cm high. Granted, I wasn’t lifting it from the floor and hoisting it onto my back. Fine. I’ll throw some stuff away. I can survive with one bikini, a couple tops and some jeans and shorts. I’m gonna have to. I literally cannot carry it.
Once I get to my hostel I lay down for a bit and relax. The pain is almost nothing when I just lie flat on my back. I haven’t eaten since yesterday lunchtime though so I head out for some food. To finish off a bad day I have a really bad carbonara. It was so bad that I didn’t even eat it. I had a cigarette instead. I go to bed at around 11pm.
Two of my room mates get in from a night out at around 5am. I laid in bed envious and reminiscent of when I used to do that. I’m sure I will when I get home. For a couple weeks anyway. Then I’ll go to work. Maybe. Ha! I have that imagination now don’t I and I imagine being a kept woman that is either going to become a successful writer or a food critic. Which brings me onto my next story. Seeing as I’ve been in agony and hardly eaten for two days, I decided I would indulge. I found the best restaurant in town which boasts a 7 course tasting menu with pairing wines. Yes please. Once did this in Scotland with Miles and Glenn and it was the best dining experience I’ve ever had. The restaurant is called iLatina. Don’t think it’s affiliated with iPhone. Didn’t ask. I did ask for a booking for Sunday but they’re closed then and had one for tonight (Saturday) at 10.30pm. I’ve never eaten that late and I’m normally asleep by then now, but I accept as this opportunity is not to be missed. I arrive just before 10pm and they seat me immediately. Current diners look at me as I walk in alone. I’ve started using this to my advantage. Maybe I’m too cool to eat with other people? Maybe I eat horribly and people are too cool to eat with me? Maybe I’m travelling alone? Or maybe I’m a food critic? Ok I’ll go with the latter. Awesome. My new role is a food critic. I swirl my wine, chew my food and admire the head chef from my own plate when at the 5th course there is some beetroot jús on my plate which I use when I have finished with the braised pork in Colombian coffee and sugarcane reduction, to write the word ‘WOW’, using the end of my carrot. The waiter laughs and I can see the other customers envious of my artistic display of appreciation.
‘Why didn’t we think of that?’
Hopefully, because you’re in someone else’s company and are completely taken by them. Not attention seeking like me. The chef comes over and thanks me for my work of art and I thank him for his! Each course is masterful. The flavours chosen compliment each other wonderfully. The waiters and I waitresses are knowledgable, extremely efficient and they didn’t spill anything on me. Always a plus. Some of the dishes just make my gush and sigh with satisfaction. I wish you were all here to taste this. The presentation makes you taste the tastes before you taste the tastes. Aesthetically pleasing. Tastebud pleasing. Emotionally pleasing. I leave feeling like a queen. When I was a full-time smoker, one of my favourite cigarettes was after dinner. I didn’t bring my cigarettes with me tonight (because I was eating) but I NEEDED one! I asked the waiter if he smoked and I didn’t even have to explain why. He just knew!
I’m going to rest in Buenos Aires and fly to Rio arriving just before Ria does. She can bring me breakfast in bed in our apartment. I’m missing Iguazu Falls which I’m gutted about. But, on the positive side, at least I’m not coming home early. I am now off to Rio for two weeks with one of my best pals. Oh, and then Jordan arrives haha.