Yesterday I had three lots of drugs pumped into me. This was partly to reduce the risk of me catching diseases from my business clients but mainly to reduce the chances of me catching diseases from mosquitos, dogs, monkeys, worms, snakes, spiders, bats, my friend Lesley, late night kebabs and toilet seats whilst wandering in the more remote areas of South East Asia.
I had Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B booster vaccinations. They don’t do Hepatitis C which was disappointing as I had hoped to complete the set and claim a free t-shirt. I’m a long term advocate of the Heppy B jab as the virus can be caught from exposure to body fluids, which is a common occurrence in my job as a gigolo foot health practitioner. The A vaccine is more of a holiday precaution though. I also had the final instalment in a course of three Rabies shots which doesn’t prevent you from contracting the disease but it does give you an extra twenty four hours to get to a hospital for treatment or, as I see it, an extra twenty four hours to do all the things you wanted to do but never dared before you die, like doing a big poo and shovelling it through Jeremy Clarkson’s letterbox.
So when the third needle went into my arm the surgery nurse shouted, “One hundred and eighty” and we both celebrated with a pint of lager and a fag.
Other pre-trip preparations have included stepping up the fitness campaign. I haven’t eaten or drunk anything that isn’t 100% healthy for over three weeks, I’ve been doing fifteen kilometres on the exercise bike every other day at my exclusive fitness suite in Calne and on Sunday, despite a very stiff breeze which seemed to blow in my face no matter which direction the road took me, I did a couple of hours of real cycling on the rural back lanes near my Wiltshire home.
I’ve bought a couple of CDs of music from Cambodia, one of which I’m listening to now as I type. It’s called Echoes from the Palace by Cambodian court music legends the Sam-Ang Sam Ensemble. They also once did an album of cover versions of Bay City Rollers’ tunes . . . when Sam-Ang Sam sang Shang-a-lang my heart sang too.
But the cherry on the Indo-Chinese cake this week was receiving from those wonderful people at Exodus Travels my FJIs (final joining instructions). A beautifully crafted email telling me exactly where to be on the morning of Saturday 23rd February and giving sound advice on essential stuff like what sort of money I should take, not letting any living creature bite or lick me while I’m away and sewing name tags into all of my clothes. I wonder if I should use tape to attach my gloves to the cuffs of my coat too.
But receiving the FJIs means that I am definitely going. There’s no getting out of it now, unless a living creature in Melksham should happen to lick me.