After the realisation set in that I had no money, food or water for three whole days, I went back to the hotel and began pleading with them; they sold bottles of water and had a restaurant, however between my lack of Vietnamese and their lack of English I could not convey the message to them that I wanted to start a tab, they just kept saying “yes, water $1”.
I had reached a new low, I was relying on this hotel and it had forsaken me.
At around 5pm my stomach started to grumble at me wondering why it had not been fed its dinner; all that I could think about was food. Not wanting to tease ourselves with the smell of sustenance we had a miserable night sat in the hotel room desperately trying not to think about it.
I woke up not thinking about food but how thirsty I was, my mouth was dry, I felt incredibly week and as though I might die. I pleaded one last time with the receptionist…there was no point she had no idea what I was talking about. I decided to try and distract myself and head down to the beach, it was beautiful, however the sun is hot (obviously) people sweat when they are hot; I was becoming entirely dehydrated. Looking at all the water in the sea it was so tempting…I resolved myself with drinking from the tap at my hotel; from a tap that clearly states that it is not for drinking.
For about three hours I feel better, I had drank maybe a pint of the dirty water…clearly from a tank, probably containing dead rats and insects, I could tell, it had bits in. My tummy was not a happy bunny, at all. I projectile vomited all over the bathroom, clearing my system of absolutely everything thus, leaving me more dehydrated than I started. To p**s me off further my boyfriend’s tummy seemed to be perfectly accepting of this water, I began to resent him for this…if I have to be sick, so does he because this is all his bloody fault.
I begged again for some water, she didn’t understand that we had lost all of our money so she must have thought that I was just a pain in the ass. Back to the beach again, this time to sit in the shade under a tree to avoid perspiration…if that was even possible, at this point I think that if my body tried to sweat I would just erupt into a pile of dust. A lady holding a giant rice cracker approaches, “you buy $1”… let’s get this straight I hate rice crackers, nay I despise rice crackers they are not a food they are tasteless bits of cardboard that people on stupid diets force down and pretend that they’re delicious…however, at this point I would have given absolutely anything for this rice cracker.
I tried my hardest to explain that I had no money and I was poorer than even she was, she did not leave, I thought about stealing the cracker and running, but maybe ending up in a Vietnamese prison is not a good thing to add to my growing list of troubles.
Week and fragile I head back to the room and try to nap. I am awoken when my boyfriend turns on the shower. I decide to write about this, so that if I die they know who to blame, when … in my bag under the diary is a mushed up Oreo from last week. Flabbergasted I sit and look at it, contemplating what to do with it. For about thirty seconds I think about being a good girlfriend and sharing the cookie, then I think about Charles Darwin’s theory of survival of the fittest, I ram that stale cookie into my mouth and it tastes incredible, I have been to some nice restaurants but this cookie was the best thing that I have ever tasted, I began to hoover up the crumbs. It had taken me two days without food to change from a civilised, considerate, middle class British Girl into a savage, hiding food and licking the insides of dirty, rotten handbags for crumbs…I kind of liked it in a way.
I decided that after that meal I needed water, I got a t-shirt, filled the sink with water and then sucked it up through the shirt (I had seen it on Bear Grills before) it worked and I had water without getting sick and a cookie, I slept better that night.
I woke up and had a stroke of good luck, I went one last time to plead with the receptionist, this time her daughter was there…score! Her daughter told her that we had not eaten or drank anything for three whole days. It suddenly dawned on her what I had been nagging her about all this time and she looked mortified. She handed us two bottles of water, and walked us to the restaurant. I was so happy I was going to be eating some food and I had water, I was going to survive this ordeal. We sit down and are handed two menus in Vietnamese, confused I say “Po Bo” it means beef noodle soup…or so I thought. I was presented with a snake head, sliced in two with spices and herbs on top. The waiter made yummy noises rubbing his tummy, I dove straight in and ate that snakes brain, it was alright, quite spongy and weird, not filling at all. Scared to see what else they might produce for us if we carried on eating we took our bottles of water and headed to the beach again…nature’s best free activity.
I awoke at the crack of dawn and headed back to the bank, passport in hand as excited as when I had seen that first sign and hallelujah…thank the lord! It was open, we collected our money, paid the hotel and then I bought myself a KFC family bucket….I truly appreciated every last morsel.
- Starvation (Part 1) (truetravelings.wordpress.com)