ISBuC (v7) 2012
Travel Bug 1
by Ella Maughan
Your average backpacker returning from that trip of a lifetime has a lot to talk about. And talk about it they do, at every opportunity, the vaguest mention of foreign climes and they will hold forth oblivious to yawns, glazed eyes, unconsciousness etc. The merest whiff of interest and 20 films worth of Everest appear, eighty photos of the same mountain, 300 pictures of camels, elephants, long suffering rickshaw drivers, dear little Indian kiddie winks (soo cuuute.)

But to make matters even more unbearable they have no interest in actually talking about any of the features that make India (and Nepal) so fascinating: the Taj Mahal, the splendour of the Himalayas, palm fringed beaches, the source of the Ganges. No, all your average backpacker actually wants to tell you about is the state of their intestines, the exact consistency, colour and odour of their bodily waste.

Other favoured tales include how many days were spent on buses wedged between a puking child clutching a weak bladdered goat and an elderly lady and her psychopathic cockerel, or how many insect bites turned into volcanic, puss oozing sores.

Well, as I am also possessed of a fascinating array of such tales, here are a couple of the most alluring.


After many months in the cool and pleasant climate of the Himalayas we returned to the life draining heat of the Indian plains. In this kind of heat all your average Brit can do is lie naked on their bed with the air conditioning on full.

Oblivious to the germ breeding properties of this kind of heat my travelling companion decided a bit of self-grooming was in order. Many a spot was squeezed and vanquished, or so he thought... The following day spot man arose to discover a lump the size of a golf ball had taken root on the side of his head, a dull ache was spreading down the side of his neck. The spot itself resembled a small but perfectly formed volcano. Alarmed by this dramatic development a chemist was consulted and a course of antibiotics procured.

My friend is now minus the lump but he sports a small, round, white scar, which looks not unlike a bullet hole.