“You’ve got enough there to fill a boogie board, but here’s a letter to confirm it’s all legitimate in case you have problems at immigration”, the doctor half-joked to me today, referencing Schapelle Corby, as I went to get my vaccinations, ahead of my trip to Cambodia and Vietnam.
Minutes later, I was standing at the light rail at Town Hall on George Street, and one of the “street preachers” mentioned her name, though I missed the context. As you sit and wait at the light rail station, you miss half the sermons, as the trams pass you by. This can be a blessing.
Even so, it was odd to hear her name referenced twice in the space of thirty minutes. It was like being back in the mid-2000s all over again.
When I told the doctor where I was planning to visit, I emphasised we are on a package tour, and staying at “nice hotels”. He spoke about the importance of bottled water and avoiding ice. At first, I thought that was a drug reference, but of course, he was talking about frozen water.
He also mentioned the possibility of conditions like rabies and malaria. “That means we can have a gin and tonic every day and it’s therapeutic”, I joked in a message to the friends I’m travelling with.
The doctor seemed most concerned about the visit to Siem Riep in Cambodia, though I neglected to ask him why. The travel advice explains it in further detail.
As a child, I had all the necessary injections. In the 1960s, I also remember visiting the travelling vans for TB (tuberculosis), and knew that an older family member had diptheria during the 1950s. Then when I was in my late teens I had some overseas travel injections, though I don’t recall what they were. I’m old enough to have seen the reality of conditions so vaccination makes sense to me. I’m a TOTAL VAXXER! Since then, it’s mostly the annual flu injection (and more recently COVID) that I’ve worried about.
When he asked me about recent travel-related injections, I admitted I’d had none. Most of my overseas travel has been “first world”, with the exception of India, South Africa and China. With that, he recommended injections for Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Diptheria and Tetanus.
Maybe he was upselling? Either way, it was bloody expensive. But at least I’ve had the shots, and feel a degree of protection. And, I have a bag full of pharmaceuticals ready to go, along with that important letter.