Monday 29 April
Hello there dear reader(s). It’s all been a bit good recently hasn’t it? Healthy activities, busking in sunny streets, very little hedonism and debauchery. I’ve set up my youtube account to document hitchhike videos, and the ball is well and truly rolling when it comes to the charity page. YOU just need to check it out now; see the new donate link at the top if the site. Anyway I feel it’s time for some first world, warts n’ all, typical Stuart problems. I don’t want you getting bored now do I?
First of all I’d like to apologise for the blatant attempt to get your attention with a sensationalist headline. Draw your own conclusions from the content of the post.
I’ve managed to hitch to Zagreb with two lovely folk who regale me with wonderful tales about Croatia along the way, point me in the direction of volunteering offices, drop me right at the hostel door and offer to show me around for drinks at the end of the week. I then lose their contact details. Unperturbed, I’ve deliberately chosen to stay at a party hostel, and proceed on a 48 hour bender with a bunch of UK randoms. I apparently attempt to chat up a cute English girl by using the line; “we both know what’s going to happen…” which I have no recollection of saying at all. This mortifies me for two reasons; one – it’s not my style, and two – yes it is my style and I wonder what other shite I come out with when I don’t know what I’m doing.
Fast forward six odd nights and I’m still in the same bed. I’ve moved only to urinate, eat and try to wash myself on the odd occasion. I’ve come down with some kind of fever, the poster boy of which is the mother of all cold sores on my top lip. Mount Vesuvius has chosen to erupt on my face. K2 with lava. I’ve had full-blown conversations with it. It’s demanding its own talk show. Now as well as the propranolol and doxycycline I’m taking for acne and rosacea every day, I’ve added full strength multi-vitamins and lysine pills. I’m also having to take ibuprofen for the pain. Basically there is a pharmaceutical company by my bedside and none of it appears to be working. The propranolol is a beta-blocker and slows my heart down, which is extremely dodgy as I already have low blood pressure. The doxycycline is supposed to get rid of spots but it looks like it’s causing them. The lysine is invaluable for cold sores and apparently good for rosacea, but it will give me acne. I’m caught between a rock and a hard place. I’ve self-diagnosed my symptoms online and I’ve either got cancer or AIDS.
All this through a weekend of crazy party hostel antics, the worst nights sleep I’ve had since being on the road (apart from that time in the field) and what appears to be a lot of missed opportunities. I’ve not managed to see anything of Zagreb, go busking on the busiest day of the week, or watch decent porn. In spite of using copious amounts of hand sanitiser I’m just not risking it. I’ve not so much as kissed a girl for nearly two months and Hades’ own herpes has decided to rent my top lip. With pets. And kids. Even the pharmacist noticeably backs away from my decrepit, hooded mug as I discretely attempt to buy drugs:
“Oooh, do those HERPES VIRUS patches work?” She chimes in perfect English.
“Only if you get it early” responds the lady behind me in the substantial queue.
“Yes do you have any more?” I mumble out, head down, keen to slip into the hole of mortification and die.
“Is it these ones?” She trills from distance, holding the packet up for all to see. I throw across more Kuna than required and bolt for the door. As luck would have it I fall in love twenty times down the street while my face is covered like a Caucasian ninja. I manage to slither back to sanctuary with two slices of lukewarm pizza; doomed to my bed while glorious, primary-colours Croatia bursts into summer life outside. At least I can have a wank. Oh wait. No I can’t.