During forty years of travel we have carried a small but cleverly devised package of first-aid medicines and have never had occasion to make use of them. For reasons which are not quite explicable on this occasion we did not.
The day began as all do, at midnight, but the manner in which it announced itself was neither normal, welcome nor expected. Had we been sleeping in the street, hot sweats may have been the norm, but in the twenty-two degrees of our room they are a sure sign that something is about to be amiss, and thus it was that not long afterwards while one of us slept blissfully on, the other was not particularly blissfully disposing of all that he had consumed in previous day or so. It transpired that whatever venom his system was ridding itself of was also simultaneously wreaking havoc with two of his daughters half a planet away.
By early morning when things had not at all improved, an executive meeting (in the absence of one of the committee who was giving a passable impersonation of someone with early onset rigor mortis) resolved that she would breakfast alone, and that we perhaps might cancel any plans we had to move for that day. Given that one of us was entirely incapable of any movement that didn’t involve a slight shake of the head accompanied by a pitiful barely audible moan, this was on reflection, a wondrous decision.
At some time in the late afternoon an ever so slight amount of coherence returned, enough to take one photograph without lifting his head, capturing perfectly his view of Dubai with his guardian angel in her window lounge.
Hoping against hope that this would be one of those nasty twenty-four hour bugs, and strengthened by the first sustenance that remained where it was intended; a glass of lemonade for dinner, we set the alarm for one in the morning, crossing our fingers that enough strength would return to actually walk to the car, and drifted back into a deep sleep, thankful that while our Dubai plans were in apparent tatters, without our stopover this could all have unfolded on an aeroplane or in transit somewhere, the logistics of which do not bear thinking about.
Somehow things always work out for the best when one is on the road.