It was spring break during my semester in London, England, and a large group of us was headed to Ireland for the week. We took the ferry across the Atlantic. It was cold and a little rough, but not a bad crossing overall.
When we arrived in Dublin, it was a rainy spring afternoon. We pulled out the umbrellas and headed out for some touring, supper and for some, a Guinness. We were having a blast.
That all came to a very harsh end some time around 11 p.m. That's when the puking started. And it wasn't from too much alcohol, either.
There we were at the hostel, one large dorm for girls and one large dorm for boys. There were about 20 of us in each room. Except 90 percent of us were so sick we never left the bathroom. The bathroom that had four stalls and two sinks. Four very overused stalls and two very overused sinks.
And you have to be really sick to lay on the bathroom floor in those conditions.
I have never been so sick in my entire life. By 2 a.m. I was certain I was throwing up vital organs, and my back hurt so bad from wretching that I was grateful to just lay on the cold floor.
Just when we thought we were all going to die, a chipper Irish doctor arrived for the house call from hell. He asked us a million questions, and never really determined what the cause of the disaster was, but he suspected that it was food poisoning.
He cheerily handed out suppositories, which we gratefully accepted. We were able to crawl back to our beds about 6 a.m., and had to report to the bus two hours later. It was a miserable way to start a vacation. We straggled on board the bus, but there wasn't enough ibuprofen in the world to take away the pain. It was like I had been beaten by a baseball bat all night long.
In the end, we had a great trip, though I was very careful about what I ate and drank for the rest of the week.
And to this day, I can't stomach the thought of Guinness.
Play along with Mama Kat at the Writer's Workshop: