Frosh Travel Diary – India trip, entry 1: Mind-altering experiences:
Ok, some people may be thinking why I am writing my first entry to my travel diary now, 2 days before I leave to India. In a word: Mefloquine (sold under the brand name Larium).
After, much deliberation, and internet research into anti-malarial medication, as well as consultation with my Father, I decided to take Larium. You only have to take it weekly and it’s commonly prescribed in Europe. It is not the usual medication prescribed in Australia, however; that’s doxycycline (which has its own problems)- plus you have to remember to take that one daily.
I took my first tablet last Thursday. So far I don’t think I have suffered any of the more uncommon and serious side effects that I had been worried about it. However, I have noticed that I had been feeling sleepy at times when I ought not to have, and not feeling sleepy at times when I ought to have. Furthermore, while sleeping, I have been experiencing for more dreams than usual. Dreams that feel far more vivid, more detailed, feel more real, and stay in the memory for longer. I looked it up online today, and these sleep problems, as well as the dreaming, are apparently common side effects. I think the Europeans must view mind-altering side effects less seriously than Australians do.
By the way, apologies to anyone whose face I may have yawned in over the last few days.
On Saturday night at Frank’s (from Judo) going-back-to-Europe party, I mentioned I was taking Mefloquine (in the context that I was refusing alcohol). Some guy with a broad Aussie accent, a registered nurse so he said, started lecturing me that I was crazy to be on it, and that it’s a toxic drug, and was extremely bad for you etc, I don’t think he got the irony that he was both drunk and stoned while he was giving the “don’t take drugs” lecture.
Last night, I was at the airport, I had all this luggage (far more than I will actually be taking in the awake world) – I had to repack it at the airport for some security regulations, and my immediate family were all there, but they weren’t helping one bit. My friend Marji was there too (in this alternate universe, he was joining me on the trip, but had almost no luggage, just a tiny day pack. “Yes, am I travelling light. It is typical Czech, actually”). Marji wasn’t helping with the luggage repacking either. So real did the dream feel, that it took me several minutes of being awake this morning to stop being pissed off at my family and Marji. (Marji, quit giggling while you read this!) “You didn’t have to help repack, but you could have at least hung around and watched my other bags for me, instead of all selfishly wondering off to have a coffee.”
I will try to write regular journal entries, but that will depend on availability of internet facilities amongst other things. Don’t expect entries to be proof-read!