Well! I’ve been buried by some of my other projects these past few days, but I’m back now to catch up on the BootsnAll #indie30 prompts that I missed. I feel especially bad about missing them, since BootsnAll featured a number of my earlier posts in their end-of-week article. I was honored and delighted. You can read the article here, on the BootsnAll site.
Okay, time to catch up:
Prompt #8: What is the worst travel experience you’ve ever had?
I haven’t been to any really dangerous areas of the world, so my bad travel experiences haven’t been extremely scary or life-threatening…but I have traveled with children.
Yes, I see the parents among you smiling ruefully and nodding your heads. Taking children overseas can be a fantastic experience–you get to introduce them to places, people, cultures, that they could never interact with at home.
World, this is my child. My child, meet the world.
You get to instill a sense of adventure in them, and a sense of confidence, too. And a sense of wonder worth more than nearly any classroom experience they will ever have.
Traveling with a five year-old can be a challenge, though. You suddenly realize that much of the world is not childproof. You have to hang onto them to keep them from falling off hotel balconies. Or mountains.
Traveling with a sick five year-old is a trial. Fever thermometers that measure temperatures in degrees Celsius…pharmacies that don’t stock familiar medicines…finding a doctor in a foreign country in the middle of the night…all typical, and all stressful when your little one is sick and listless, and you’re worried, exhausted, and trapped indoors with them for days at a time.
Traveling with a sick five year-old whom you’ve forced to swallow her medicine, which came in pill form, from the bottle with the label in German and the name of which you not only don’t recognize but can’t even pronounce, who is crying herself red in the face, and who then, seemingly out of defiance but surely out of illness, gags, leans forward, and throws up all over your host’s kitchen–this experience, though it may not involve death-defying feats, war zones, kidnappings, or explosions, is a very bad experience, nonetheless, and will leave you warning your hosts to STAY OUT of the kitchen for about an hour while you clean vomit out of their sugar bowl, and may even lead you to throw up a little bit yourself from the sight, sound, and smell of what’s going on. It may also force you to find another apotheke–drugstore–to explain the upsetting dilemma to the pharmacist (who, happily, speaks some English), and to endure further humiliation as he grudgingly re-fills the prescription for you in liquid form and hands it to you while frowning and informing you that “Here in Austria, our children can swallow pills.”
Really. It’s a very bad experience.
Even if it is slightly hilarious later on.
Image: “Das kranke Kind” (The Sick Child) François-Joseph Navez [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons