Don’t Drink the Turpentine!
And this, my friends, is photographic proof of my first ever foreign hospital visit.
Short story – there I was minding my own business when I took a drink of what I thought was water to quench my sunny-Italian-spring induced thirst. Turns out the bottle did not contain water so much as it contained turpentine. Somehow I managed a pretty good swallow of the caustic stuff and after a series of conflicting advice from random folks (drink some milk … no, drink some water … no, drink some soda … no, eat some yogurt … no, eat some bread … no, don’t drink or eat anything at all … just vomit … whatever you do, don’t vomit … get to the doctor right now you fool! …. oh you’ll be fine, just have some wine …) I ended up in the hospital via train and my very first ambulance ride, foreign or otherwise.
After downing a delicious gourmet glass of charcoal and having copious amounts of blood drawn from my wrists over the course of a few nauseous hours, I was declared fit to be discharged. However, the official hospital discharge wasn’t so much where my adventure ended as where it took a seriously ill (but assuredly normal) turn that left me spewing an atrocious medley of turpentine and charcoal all over the streets and cafe bathrooms between the hospital and the train station.
Instead of continuing on with an increasingly graphic description of what happened next, let me just leave you with this piece of wisdom – boys and girls, whatever you do, don’t drink the turpentine.