Just Not In The Mood!
Generally, I have been extremely lucky with illness and injury while on my travels, so there’s not a huge range of anecdotes to choose from today. A few incidents have happened to people in my groups while guiding – illness, injuries and even death – but I wanted to at least use something that had happened to me personally.
During our trip to Egypt two years ago, as is almost compulsory I suffered with a couple of bouts of a dodgy stomach. Mainly manageable, but one night was particularly nasty and left me feeling very weak. Heading down to the pharmacy in the row of shops in the hotel complex, I asked for the highly effective local pills – much better for fighting their local bugs than the ones you get here. In a pharmacy of all places, I did not expect the normal attempts by Egyptian shopkeepers to try and engage you in further business, sell you extra stuff, give you “good price” etc. I really should have known better, I guess the germs affected my thinking as well. As I paid for my stomach tablets, the pharmacist leaned in close and told me kind of confidentially that he could do me a very good price on Viagra if I was interested. At first I thought I had misheard, but he repeated himself and I hadn’t.
It was probably the most optimistic sales pitch I have ever heard, even by Egyptian shopkeeper standards. I had just spent most of the night in the bathroom, I felt drained, weak and just wanted to try and sleep within easy reach of a toilet. I am hard pressed to think of a time when I felt less like engaging in sexual activity – a whole batch of his Viagra probably wouldn’t have been enough. A naked parade of all the women I have ever fancied, all carrying neon signs saying “Take me to bed now Ian” would not have been enough. I seem to think I did not even dignify him with a proper answer, just gave him a look and went on my way.