Yesterday, as I was flat on the floor of my office because it was cool and not spinning, staring at the ceiling I thought “ I guess the nice cleaning person will find my dead body—she is really nice, I’m sorry to do that to her”. “How will Fulbright get my body home”?
Ok, a little dramatic, but being away from the familiar when you are sick is probably the first big challenge a traveler faces (aside from not being able to master the Portuguese skeleton key). It is a reminder to me of how it is for freshman when the first cold hits in October, and to understanding and not being judgmental. For me, it was nausea which I attributed to car sickness, followed by a sleepless night and then stomach problems (I will spare you), body aches and a massive headache. A classic virus (despite my flu shot) profile. I have no idea where I got this but I work in a university, I live in a home with a lot of people and I hang out with a 5 year old, so the possibilities were good that I would catch something soon.
My land-person, Carol, gave me some Brazilian tea which helped along with a side does of motherly sympathy which was greatly needed. But nonetheless, I long for my bed, my cats and the sounds of my home. I had a fever-dream in which my daughter was about 10 again….it must be due to binge watching the Gilmore Girls while ill. Perhaps I should switch to another show. It filled me with a longing of saudade, the word for longing and melancholy when I woke up with a headache.
This will pass, hopefully quickly as I must be in Lisbon for Thursday and Friday at Fulbright! But it is a reminder to me that to simple acts of kindness can be lifesavers–a cup of tea, a concerned word from the barista when she notices that you don’t drink your coffee, a simple acknowledgement of our shared fragility.