If I’m not posting as often as I used to, it’s because I’m not inspired and because I frankly don’t feel very good here..
Because of the very high cost of living in Uruguay (in summer anyway), we have to opt for dormitories in youth hostels (15€/person). Usually, youth hostels in South America attract frequent travelers, traveling through South America in 4-6 months. They are independent, intelligent, funny and know how to behave as a community
Here in Uruguay, we find ourselves with young Argentinian/Brazilians who come to spend a few days in “fiesta vacation” mode. It isn’t the same atmosphere nor the same level of education. It’s not uncommon for them to chat while smoking until 2am and then enter the room by turning on the light to finish their conversation aloud..
Being tired by our travel rhythm, we choose our accommodations with less vigilance too. After 2 nights in private room in a hostel that we find well in Colonia del Sacramento, we decide to stay 2 more nights but in dormitory to save a little money. The first night, I am covered with mosquito bites. Good, why not, but the 2nd night, other bites occur whereas there is no mosquito in the air-conditioned room (I killed them all). The next day, the bites are swollen. I go to the hospital where I am told I am allergic to bites, without knowing what kind of bites it is (mosquitoes or bed fleas?). My bites look a lot like mosquito bites but they are too clustered to be caused by mosquitoes. In short, the doctor doesn’t say anything, despite the 5 minutes of consultation and the 50€ he just cashed in (take an insurance for your travels friends, it’s the 4th time we consult a doctor since our world tour)
Note: the only positive thing in this story is that on the way to the hospital, a wild but cute dog volunteered to follow us to the hospital. He waited for us in front of the hospital and escorted us to the hostel. It looked like he wanted to be walked, to act as if he had masters..
We do a little Google search with the name of the hostel + bed bugs and come across reviews dating back to 2015 talking about “bed bugs” in this hostel. It’s our fault, we should have checked on Google before booking. The worst in all this is that I checked the beds before/after, I still can’t find these chips
As a precaution, all our clothes are carefully washed and machine dried
We leave Uruguay very quickly to go to Buenos Aires (only 1 hour by boat), with my arms and legs swollen. Another youth hostel, but this time with a private room. During 2 days, I see nothing more than the walls of the hostel. My arms and legs are still swollen, I can’t even wear my wedding ring anymore because my finger has doubled in volume. It hurts like hell. The medication given by the doctor only partly relieves it. Add to this the fear of carrying fleas with us in our luggage, and the fear of catching zika or dengue fever without knowing it
Spreading myself with cream to relieve itching, I have the bad idea to count the bites (it’s also to know if others appear or the number remains stable). More than twenty! I burst into tears, the pain is killing me, I can’t take it anymore!
What am I doing here eating shit for weeks? (pasta, hamburgers, pizzas… that’s all there is) hanging out with jerks? and getting dirt?
Since my supply of tears is limited, I eventually stop crying at some point. My mom is on Facebook too and asks about me every hour. After an express detox with 1L of lemon water, comes the question “what do you want to eat? Buenos Aires is a big city, you’ll find everything here (not like in Uruguay where you just have the choice between alcohol vinegar or cider vinegar) . JB is a sweetheart and brings me pistachios (overpriced here), a sausage and a bibimbap (the poor guy had to make 45mn round trip by subway to buy some for me). It makes me smile again
Mom’s “detox express” recipe works well, I spend 2 very good nights without scratching like a madwoman, my arm is back to its original size. On the third day, I even venture to China Town to buy a lot of things to snack and cook, to treat myself. The fact that Buenos Aires looks a lot like Paris makes me feel good. Tomorrow, we will also go to a French restaurant selling Argentine beef tartar. Tartar + Argentine beef, ahhhh, the perfect combo!