Nightmares and dreams in Agra

Heat, sweat, tiredness, sleep, dream, pain, searing pain! dream?  Eyes open, darkness and  knife like pain, reality I have been bitten by something, spider, snake?
Mary, Mary ehhh.. Mary nuuuuhhh, lights, turn the lights on I have been bitten and it hurts!

Lights flicker on and a critter dashes for cover under my pillow, I squish hard with pillow, peer slowly under.. zooom critter tries to escape, Matt seeks revenge and squishes bug harder. pain is worse, ack this is serious what was it? In the dim fluorescent light the small body of a scorpion is revealed.

Every childhood movie involving scorpions flashes though my head (at 24fps). Question, how many survived?   Am I the bit part expendable actor or the hero?
I wrap my arm tight with a shirt (its in all the movies), should I write a quick fair well to everyone or make Hemingway like dry jokes before I go?  Help seemed a better option, the night staff at the Hotel peered at the scorpion with bugged out eyes and the dead scorpion peered back.  They had never seen one before and it took a while before they realized I had been stung. A quick call to an expert (Hotel manager), best advice wait and see what happens. if it swells up a nighttime dash to the hospital for anti-venom or something? Starting to relax and accept my fate, I ditch the shirt tourniquet and holding my arm high to slow the blood flow to the sting (movie advice) we went back to the room. Peering at the bed sheets for more critters we find a large 6″ by half inch  red and white centipede with a forked tail, this time in Marys bed, she hop’s around the tiny room squealing just like the movies!
The kindly calm Indian hotel staff called for security, the centipede was arrested and squished. We were offered another room, an air-conditioned one to wait out my final hours… very thoughtful. Ice and an anti-histamine were taken,  Its now 2am or so and the ice has reduced the pain and the swelling appears to have stopped to the point that sleep is an option, or is it the final drowsy end…

Drifting slowly into oblivion I once again had that feeling that this has all happened before, and will happen again, life is fragile and yet resilient.

Silence… no fan, no heat, cool air, that’s not normal, is this heaven?  Eyes open and  a dim square box of an air-conditioned room emerges through my blurry eyes I fight my way out of bed and unlock the door and sit on the doorstep, warm sunshine bathes my soul and the nightmare has become the dream, all is well again.


5 thoughts on “Nightmares and dreams in Agra

  1. OMG. Matt! You’ve been having one heck of a time!!! I don’t think India agrees with you. Maybe it’s time to head to some place more conducive to good health???

    Take care of your selves.


  2. Hi Guys:

    How are you doing other than leaving your passport here and there. That picture of the scorpion doesn’t look very flat to me.

    Other than a few minor conveniences, how is the trip going? We haven’t had an update on you site for a while so were wondering where you were.

    Have you been able to keep ahead of the rains?


  3. Hey guys!
    Its been weeks and no word from you…. I thought we agreed to once a week updates! Hope all is well and would love to hear from you.

  4. I’d like to send you an email of a power point slide I made using your photos from Mount Ijen. I’m trying to show high school science students inhospitable places where there are actually 1-celled microbes growing. Unthinkable 10 years ago … but then we grow as biologists and shift everything to include new knowledge.

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