Monthly Archives: July 2014

Vaccinations and health

Some people think whisky is expensive.

To put that in perspective: I paid 65,50 euro for a 1 ml booster dose of rabies vaccine.
This means that this vaccine, if served as a standard measure of Scotch (25 ml), would set you back roughly 1600 euro.

Given the fact that In unvaccinated humans, after symptoms have developed, rabies is virtually always fatal, I thought it rather worth the expense. Even more so after I read some more about the horrible development of the disease once it becomes manifest.

One of the more interesting symptoms of rabies is hydrophobia or ‘fear of water’. It is manifest in the later stages of an infection where even the suggestion of drinking fluids may cause extremely painful spasms of the muscles in the throat.

If you ever flipped through the health section of a guidebook you might have noticed that it is not always that easy to diagnose tropical illnesses. Symptoms of nearly every disease include fever, diarrhea, loss of appetite, nausea and headaches. If you suffer from any of these afflictions you could either have malaria, dengue fever, yellow fewer, hepatitis, a dozen other tropical diseases or all of the above.

So it’s a good idea to get your shots.

Instead of repeating boring facts about malaria that every informed reader should already know, I’ll just mention a rather intriguing list of famous people who died of malaria:

– Alexander the Great
– Dante
– Caravaggio
– Lord Byron
– Oliver Cromwell
– King Mongkut of Siam
– David Livingstone
– Fausto Coppi
– Buffalo Calf Road Woman

I will elaborate more on vaccinations and health in this post later…
I lied. Sorry.



How to quit your job

For most positions it will be necessary to write a letter of resignation. It is best to keep this brief and to the point. Be honest about your motives if you ever want to return to that particular industry, otherwise you can just be honest. Don’t forget to state the exact date of your resignation.

An example of a letter of resignation:

Dear Mr. Pickwick,

This is my best day ever formal notification that I am resigning yippee!! from your cat food factory as senior consultant. The 21st of July will be the last day of my daily grind employment.

After careful consideration I’ve decided to spend the rest of my life drinking beer all day long travel around the world and meet interesting girls people.

See you around Sincerely,


On making plans

Anyone familiar with Murphy’s law will be quick to perceive that every plan could be nothing more than a list of things that can go wrong and therefore a list of things that will go wrong.

Before I left for my first big trip (2005 – 2008) I had made it clear that this was going to be my Big Asia Trip. Only for reasons of economy did I decide to fly to Cairo after which I would make my way into Asia. Instead, I travelled south to Sudan and in Khartoum I met travellers who told me enchanting stories about Ethiopia and, before I knew it, I was queueing for an Ethiopian visa.
By the time I reached Addis Ababa I received emails from friends trying to tactfully remind me that Asia was actually quite a bit farther east…

This will suffice to illustrate that I am no stranger to plans going out the window.

However, having a plan will give a certain direction to an enterprise.
Without any objective at all it’ll be hard to get a sense of achievement and the traveller will be in peril of becoming a drifter.  So I hatched a plan and it’s only short of brilliant:

My plan is to go South!

Easy to remember.