Friday the 13th (13 March)

This was easily the worst day of vacation that either of us has ever had. 

My wife woke up this morning feeling quite unwell and showing symptoms of food poisoning. I felt more or less fine but she progressively got worse. We tried laying out by the pool and took the day very easy (I got a massage in a Thai family’s living room/massage studio while watching Muay Thai boxing on TV) but she got progressively worse and developed a fever by the afternoon. After that she didn’t even want to get out of bed. 

I still felt fine but became tired as the evening drew nearer. By pure coincidence, I learned an acquaintance from Vienna had moved to Chiang Mai and we decided to meet up for dinner at a local Thai chicken joint (SP Chicken). The food was great, although my hunger wasn’t quite what it normally was (attributed it to the cooking course the day before), and the company was splendid. If you want some great grilled chicken in Chiang Mai, go to SP Chicken. It’s easy to find – right around the corner from what looks to be the largest temple in the city. The crowd is purely local save for a few expats, so you know the food is not only good but also authentic. 

About an hour after we sat down for dinner I started to feel unwell and had to promptly excuse myself, paid for my share of the bill and hurried back to the hotel as fast as I could, feeling worse with each step. By the time I got back to the hotel I was weak, could barely make it up the stairs and as soon as I got into the room got the shivers from the fever I had developed on the 10-minute walk from the restaurant. Changed into warmer clothes that I had worn on the flight to Thailand and fell straight to sleep. 

I’ll save the details but suffice to say that the two of us each had horrible nights, sweating from the fevers and generally feeling like crap. The next day was supposed to be our visit to the Elephant Nature Park, a camp for abused Asian elephants rescued in Thailand and neighboring countries. This was actually the one thing we were looking forward to most of all and didn’t want to miss it. All we could do was take the medicine we had and hope for the best…