Some Travel Realities

No photos with this one…. I’m just writing for the record that during our second visit of three days, this time in the Bairro Alto neighborhood of Lisbon, Bob was quite ill with some kind of flu and it was a bit scary. No worries, he tested for COVID and was negative. Or maybe it was COVID (he was nervous about testing a second time!) and he’s got another boost of immunization… we do not know for sure but it’s over.

The systems started as a throat tickle that would eventually translate into an explosive cough— dreading the latter kept Bob awake, he lost a few nights sleep and you could see the tiredness. Suddenly, the cough was secondary to a monstrous stomach attack, no pain, no nausea, just many trips to the bathroom night and day which kept us indoors and not eating any of the food we had bought for our three-day stay.

The only fun part of this episode is that when we decided to go to the emergency room, the first ride to happen along was a tuk-tuk, a funny three-wheeled motor “car”, similar to a golf cart, that is used for tours around town. The driver was a merry soul and— since we had paid for it (minimum charge is 10 Euros as opposed to about 3.5 E for a taxi), he kept up a non-stop patter of information about the city as we rattled along the cobblestones to the public hospital. It was great for keeping our minds off of Bob’s rather severe dehydration and off of what the problem might be (OK, I’ll include a photo of a tuk-tuk!).

The Emergency Room part, I’ll skip over except to say that, while Portugal may have one of the best health care systems in the developed world, as rated by some group or other, emergency rooms are the same everywhere. For a deposit of about $20, we were advised in very unfriendly tones and in no uncertain terms that the wait would be “several hours”, so we walked out. By the next morning, Bob was on the mend and we were able to take our 6 pm flight to Montpellier, near the Mediterranean in the Occitane region of France, to visit a dear family friend— more soon, don’t leave your seat!

PS— Note to Self: Travel insurance is worth the peace of mind. Also, as an American, you can afford a private hospital in Portugal.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: