I had heard from a few people about the Sochi Flu when I arrived, and when I woke up on Day 3 I was not impressed to feel a bit of a tickle in my throat. I was relieved when it went away in the first few hours of the day, but then on the ride back to the Coastal Cluster after my first day in the mountains I started to feel my head stuff up and the sore throat returned. Noooooo!!!!
I still hadn’t received my luggage, so didn’t have any preventative meds, and when I returned from the mountain it became clear that I was going to get full blown sick. The mountain bus dropped me at the Olympic Park and it would take about a half hour to get back to my hotel from there. With every step I took I could feel the flu taking over my body. (I hadn’t been sick in several years, so it figures that it would happen now, of all times, while I was in Russia! Grrr!)
After a train ride and another bus ride I had a 15 minute walk ahead of me, during which I stopped at a corner store to pick up some bottled water and snacks. It started to rain, and of course I didn’t have my umbrella with me (it was in my luggage), so I proceeded to get soaked.
When I was about 5 minutes away from my hotel, I tripped and fell HARD on both knees on the now mucky sidewalk. The stuff I had just bought flew all over the place, my only pair of pants were now covered in mud and the white maple leaf on the palms of my Canada mittens were now covered in mud.
That was it. I had held it back until that moment. Tripping was the last straw. I collapsed on the ground and felt my eyes fill with tears of frustration. This was not how I pictured my awesome day ending!
I sat there for about half a minute in disbelief that this had just happened when a lovely Russian man ran up and started to pick up my strewn “groceries” and despite my insisting that it wasn’t necessary, he carried it back my hotel for me in the pouring rain. I thanked him saying “spasibo“, and gave him a Canadian Olympic pin, a hug and an appreciative (but disheartened) smile before going inside.
When I got to my room I changed out of my wet muddy clothes into one of my borrowed t-shirts and searched my stuff for a bandaid. I found a few in my carry-on luggage (thank goodness!) and applied one to my bleeding knee before collapsing into bed with hopes that some sleep would encourage the Sochi Flu to pass me by.
Every travel adventure comes with its share of frustrations and mishaps, and I was happy to leave the past couple of hours behind me. I closed my eyes and went to sleep looking forward to waking up to a new day of new possibilities.