La Bomba

Right now, I have several stories in my head about this week that I am not sure where to begin. I will talk about this drink that I was given to settle my stomach called “La Bomba”. But, before I get there and say why I need the drink in the first place, what needs to be understood is that what people really do not talk about when taking trips to places such The Dominican Republic is that our American bodies are not prepared for whatever bacteria or micro-organisms we may encounter. So I am here to say that one can get very sick when drinking the water.

As I mentioned, we were in a resort so they do have bottled water and tap water that the bars serve you that is said to be “filtered”. There is even a sign in the bathroom of the hotel room that says to no drink the water. So, being that I have been to Cancun before and have gotten sick, I was sooo not going to drink the water. Here is the problem…most of the drinks are made with ice. Now, when I say I drank everyday…I am not kidding. I now have people who will no longer drink with me because I got them way too drunk.

The two days leading up to the wedding as well as that beautiful day, I was fine. I was knocking them back and I was eating just about anything. Most of the time I was either having Vodka and Cranberry or just Mojitos. The night of the reception was crazy! The place we went to (which the name still escapes me) has mojitos served as a part of the cocktail reception before dinner. So by the end of the night, I think I had about 6 and had 2 shots of Tequila (one of which was a double).  I am feeling very good. We went to a club in which I drank more and then I was hungry of course. We ate at a buffet and then I passed out in my room.

The next morning I wake up. I am fine. I am in my bed and mi prima (cousin) is in hers. I get out of bed and my stomach was like…no puedo. I went to the bathroom and felt better. I go to breakfast and I notice that not only can I not eat…but smell of the food is make me queasy! So I am not like…No..tell me that on my last full day in the Dominican Republic I am going to be sick. I have one pancake and some cafe and I head back to the room.

When I sit down or lay back. I am fine. I feel no pain. When I stand it is like my stomach begins to lose the battle against gravity. I thought about how I can be smart about this. Eventually this will pass. If I lay by the beach I will fine. I can just get some sun and I will still be able to relax. So I do that and I have a nice tan to show for it. I find out that my two cousins are sick too. The one I am rooming with and the brother of the groom…and they are worse off than me.

So after the beach, mi prima  and I head toward the lobby of the resort where we meet up with her sister. She tells us that the brother of the groom had a drink called “La Bomba.” This was something that one of the staff recommended to drink in order to settle our stomachs. That did not sound too bad. I figured we would just take this home remedy and we will be fine. We order it and the bartender knew what it was of course. He makes two. It was a small drink in a small glass and it look RED…like skin of the devil red. It had pieces of herbs floating in it. This was not looking like such a good idea. This was going to taste horrible! So we decide we are going to knock it back and hold the breath while doing it!

The best way I can describe this taste is if you could liquefy a few old pennies and drink them…the taste would be spot on! I never tasted anything so nasty in my entire life. For what it was worth…it seemed to work, but only up until a certain point. As the night went on, I felt somewhat stable but my cousins got worse. Mi prima bought some pepto and we took shots of that. Not even 5 minutes after that she was turning colors. She had to back to the room where she did not do so well. I went to check on her later and she explained how she may have lost some wait because she was hugging the toilet most of the night.

I am scared now. I am hearing stories of other people getting the chills and sick for like a day. I have not gotten any of that. Just stomach cramps! I got up this morning after after barely sleeping because of my bathroom trips and I told myself that I can make it through this flight! I will have to will myself to not use any bathroom until I get home to New York.

Ok…so I am good for most of the morning. We are flying out of Santo Domingo so he have to take shuttle there. It is a 90 minute ride. I make it. We get to the airport and I feel the stomach churning..damn it! So I am plotting on how I can get to the men’s room before the flight leaves. We get all check in. I head to the terminal. One of my other cousins asks if I wanted food. I just give her this scowl and say…”my next meal will be on American soil”. At this point I am eying the bathroom at the terminal. Then I hear my name through the PA. Something in Spanish about I need to see security…wtf!

So the people at the gate are telling me that they cannot identify something in one of the bags I checked. I am thinking about the mini statue I bought that was super wrapped. So, knowing I have no bombs, I wait for them to come get me. My flight is at 12:10 and it is now 11:50 and they have yet to get me. Half the plane has boarded already! I am getting nervous and my stomach is hating me more and more. So this guard comes to get me and two other guys.

I am held in this glass chamber where they bring the bags out. I noticed that the bag they are talking about for me is my small bag that was nothing but shoes in it. I am struggling to remember if I put anything extra in there. They run the bag through the machine and all I see are shoes. They see something different. So they open that shit up and check my shoes! This guy had his fingers all up in the lining of my new shoes! I am looking at him like…really? I gave up my bathroom session so he could finger the soles of my shoes…ugh!

Clearly they found nothing! But I had to board the plane and I did. Plane ride was smooth and my stomach behaved. We get off and go through customs. Delta’s bag claim took forever! I was there for an hour. My brother picks us up. I go to my mom’s where the house is filled with more family! So we had to talk and mingle and eat! All the while I am like…I really need to go.

So I pack the car…and I go to turn it on…that shit is dead! WHY IS MY CAR DEAD? Ugh! So I had to have my bother jump it. Turns out someone left the lights on in the car. I left it at my mom’s all she had to do was move it. I can only guess she left the dome light in the car on.

I finally get my car started…and drive to mi tia’s… She welcomes me and I told her I would love to talk to her…but I need to use the bathroom…

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