My first thoughts while pedaling out of the Sarajevo international airport were “What happened to the Middle East”. Where are the dusty dirt roads, filled with muddy pot holes? Where are the Arabic men squatting on sidewalks smoking cigarettes and drinking sweat tea? Or the hordes and hordes of spice and tobacco shops? I am ready to get back to a different culture than the one I came from. My thoughts as I drifted through the midnight streets were that I needed to quickly pedal out of Europe, the sooner the better. It seems that the more countries I pedal through, and the more people I meet only increases my appetite to continue wandering the world.
I have become sick. My body, once strong and fearless is now surviving on one meal a day and close to 14 hours of sleep. My ear infection became worse, and there were few days where I thought my head was going to explode. The accumulation of pus and mucus in my inner ear was so voluminous that the doctor had to make a small incision to relieve the pressure. The process of making a hole in my inner ear was one of the most painful experiences I have been through. It took three nurses to hold me down while a needle was forced into my ear, slowly with the use of a vacuum, the fluid drained from my head. The whole time my body was tense with pain, and the loud sound of the instruments echoed in my head.
The healing process is slow and painful, I am experiencing vertigo for the first time. I once had a religious yoga practice and the fear of losing/dislodging crystals within my inner ear (Vertigo) always scared me because it would keep me from doing many of the balancing poses in my practice. Now just looking up at the sky and back down to the ground makes me noxious. The noxious feeling is the same feeling when one drinks too much alcohol, and is on the verge of vomiting. So daily it feels as if I am close to vomiting. Also, to make matters worse, while the ear heals I am left with an almost unbearable ringing sound day and night. Some nights I wake up and ringing is so loud that I start to cry, I remind myself to be strong, strong, strong and to have patience. I think of my father and his struggle with heart disease, and how calm he always was.
I have taken up painting as therapy, some nights when I can’t sleep I paint water-color pictures of the middle east or the Dalmatian coastline. I don’t know how long I will be off the bicycle, but I am patiently waiting for my return to adventure. I have found a nice quiet spot to rest and rest I do. This is by far my most depressing post to date, but my will strong and there is nothing that can keep me from pedaling the rest of the way to China.
I put together a few videos, one from my adventures to Feynan village. I hope to be back to this level soon 🙂