This blogpost was originally written as a guest-post for an English-speaking blogger. Because it was way too long I wrote another article about another meeting with another doctor in another country as a guest-post. I wrote about this “incident”, live, from Beijing, but in Norwegian, and here it is in English!
I travel a lot, sometimes with Mr. No-backpacker and sometimes alone. I do have a weak stomach due to IBS, but I survived even India without getting the famous Bombay-Belly. I admit it, I am Mrs. clean-freak and when traveling I never travel without my beloved Anti-Bac.
On this trip to Beijing the plan was to arrive in Beijing some days before Mr. No-Backpacker to overcome jet-lag and and to get some relaxing days at a 5* Intercontinental Hotel before moving to the hotel he had gotten through his job (a 3* Chinese hotel.. not exactly luxury… but that is another story…)
I usually get a little bit upset in my stomach the day I travel, so me not feeling 100% well the day of departure was nothing I made a notice of. I thought it was the usual “discomfort travel stomach”. During my 6 hours waiting in Amsterdam I felt a little bit worse and during the flight to Beijing I felt sick, with stomach cramps and I was sweating.
Luckily I felt a little bit better when on the ground i Beijing. I asked the information desk at the airport to write my hotels name and address in Chinese and found a taxi. I showed the taxi-driver my note with the hotels name and address, and the taxi-driver said ”Yes, yes” when I asked him if he knew where to go.
Later I learned that ”Yes, yes” in China sometimes means ”I don’t have a clue, but I’ll take you anyway”. This was the case with this driver. Suddenly he stopped, in the middle of a roundabout and said: ”OK”.
I knew we were close to the hotel, but I didn’t know exactly where the hotel was. I managed to explain, today I really don’t know how, that I was going to Intercontinental Hotel and this was NOT my hotel. He looked at me and said: ”Hotel?” I asked him to continue driving, and so he did.
Suddenly I saw a hotel I knew were close to my hotel and asked the driver to drive in that direction. When we were pretty close, I saw my hotel and asked the driver to change direction. Now he was REALLY confused, but again I managed to get him to understand that I didn’t want to go to the other hotel, but THIS. (I can only imagine what the taxi-driver must have thought about the crazy woman in the back-seat, not managing to decide which hotel she wnated to stay at…)
It was really heaven to get out of the taxi and be taken care of at the hotel. Because I am a Royal Ambassador (the highest level in the Intercontinentals bonus-program) I was upgraded to a senior suite with two rooms, two bath-rooms and lounge access.
Exactly 30 min. after I had entered my room, something happend in my stomach. You know the feeling… Movements, noises and then you have to run… To make a long, painful story short, I didn’t enjoy my lovely suite and hotel during my 3 nights there. I got the worst stomach-illness I have ever had in my life! Being all on my own, very far away from home, was not exactly great.
Luckily I have a very good travel-insurance. First they asked me to go to the hospital. When I said there were no way I would leave my toilet, they told me to arrange a doctor to come to the hotel. When I called the reception and asked for an English speaking doctor, they said it was not possible to get one to come to the hotel. After some discussion it turned out it was possible, but it would cost an arm and a leg. I said I was willing to pay (I can assure you, I would have paied both my arms and legs) and the hotel arranged it.
The English speaking doctor, from SOS-International hospital in Beijing, called me and asked me some questions. Then they sent the doctor. I was nearly in tears because I was so happy to speak to somebody in English! I got some medicin and a sick-note for my insurance-company and I also got a direct number I could use if I needed any more assistant. The diagnose was NORO-virus and the doctor thought I had gotten it at home. Ironical isn’t it, always afraid of getting a bug when traveling, but get the worst virus at home!
Being sick is terrible, being sick alone and far away from home, is even worse. BUT it’s not that bad as long as you stay at a good hotel. The staff at Intercontinental handled the situation very well. They called me many times during my stay, they prepared special room-service food and they even visited me to look after me. This is the reasons why I usually stay at Intercontinentals, especially when I am traveling alone.
After 3 days, when Mr. No-Backpacker arrived (wide awake, but hungry, since he had been upgraded to business-class and had slept like a baby through the breakfast-service) I started to feel better and I left the luxurious hotel without seing anything else than the bathroom… I still have the feeling that this hotel was a very nice one, but well… I have to stay at the hotel next time in Beijing…