I arrive back home to Scotland in six weeks after spending 18 months travelling and performing stand-up throughout Australia, New Zealand and SE Asia. In this time I have been kissed by an elephant in Thailand, been to an illegal gay pride festival in Hong Kong and performed at a gig in Melbourne that was attacked by a junkie. After spending so long away from home there are a lot of things I have missed like family and friends but the thing I miss most after travelling through Asia is the ability to do a normal poo.
With the mix of new spices, way lower hygiene standards and Myanmar's obsession with oily fried food, which would make the most ardent fan of deep fried Mars Bars doubtful, all of these new elements to the uninitiated stomach makes it go ape shit. Your digestive tract is constantly shifting along a spectrum from constipation to diarrhoea and back then forth in a constant battle where neither outcome is good. The stomach's reaction to these problems from stodgy blocked progress to not trusting your own farts is similar to how we deal with the Middle East.
Constipation comes first and is like Sadam Hussain firstly for the obvious reason that he is a massive shit. He is tyrannical, blocks any progress and crushes his enemies with extreme force.Whilst he is around you feel queasy, bloated and every time you try think you are about to get rid of him you find out it was just a decoy. It feels like the worst thing that can happen and you will do anything to get rid of him, even write a fake dossier to the UN. It is not until he is gone that you realise there was at least some level of control and things did change, just slowly and in big chunks.
The problem is that when you do topple this dictatorial jobbie, a power vacuum is created and this is when Isis style diarrhoea strikes and not just for the reason that they are a sparse collection of little shits. Diarrhoea strikes at any moment with hardly any warning so when it first strikes you don't believe it is going to be that bad. It is worse! You are going to crap yourself. You are going to crap yourself so bad that you are going to have to use the protection of your girlfriend's sanitary towels. You just live in complete uncertainty, you don't know what force it will come out at, you don't know the volume and even when you think it is getting better it strikes when you are on a 15 hour train where the only bathrooms available are squat toilets. Things get so bad in fact that you can get nostalgic for authoritarian bowel movements. I've popped a couple of Imodium now so my instestines have become like the Assad regime and I haven't had a successful poo in 4 days. Back to no progress again, very much like the Syrian ceasefire.
This is something I wanted to write as this happens to most travellers and the world itself is in such a shitshow of a scenario but I don't think any self-respecting publication will commission anything like this so I might as well let my name live and die by it. The other bonus is that this blog is an opportunity to get to know me as a writer. The fact you're reading this you means are possibly on the fence about coming along to my GICF show, either way this article will have pushed you off one way or another.
Sturan's show 'Struan All Over The World' is on Yesbar on Sunday 26 March. Get your tickets HERE!