Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Nomad Chronicles part II

I find it funny all the contradictory advice I get. A thing or place is dangerous to one person, a safe haven to another. It's dirty/clean fun/lacking cheap/expensive out-of-the-question/not to be missed. For example, I met a guy that takes Malaria medication regularly, yet has gotten malaria 6 times in 18 months.I met another guy that never heard of the stuff, and has never gotten sick. I've met peace corp vols that are absolutely appalled when I tell them I don't take malaria pills. Ever. "dude you're going to die". "Are you crazy"? I tell them; Ok, maybe I'll get it, then be sick for a few days, at least I wont take it for 2 years like you PCVs, and have liver failure and die a horrible horrible death (dramatized for my pleasure). The PC doesn't mention that does it? My friend from the UK told me that doctors there would not subscribe her malaria pills for any longer than 3 months. They would say, like anyone that knows, that taking an antibiotic everyday for months on end is very bad for your liver. 2 years? Can't imagine.
Another example of conflicting advice, is from peoples different views on an area. A few people I talked to had been in eastern Africa, but looked at me like I was an idiot when I asked if they had gone to Ethiopia or Congo. "you can't go there, you will be raped/murdered/kidnapped/tortured", and whatever else they've been told. Then the next day I mentioned the same countries to another fellow traveler, who had just been in the north east of Africa, and he assured me that I would be absolutely daft if I were to even attempt to conceive the notion of not going there, when I was already so close. (sounded bad, so didn't argue). Apparently Ethiopia was his favorite, and the most beautiful country in Africa. Coming from an unbiased traveler who had just been there, it was convincing. "bloody Americans, afraid of they own shadows they be". "Whatcha be afraid of? Mind you steer clear of thee mingy sloots (hookers) and you'll be fine. Rob you of not just your wad do they, but of your dignity as well; and we wouldn't want that now would we ol chap?" I also met a girl that went through the Congo by herself too. So, as far as advice goes, I've learned to judge for myself if one has experienced these things for themselves, or just heard them.

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