Chapter 2 – Gonorrhoea or the Beach?

1st September 2016

I’ve been living in an Air B and B apartment on Rua Djalma Ulrich, Copacobana for the past couple of weeks. I was sharing the apartment with my new friend Ed but he spent a lot of nights at his girlfriends apartment across town. When he was out Lais the girl I was with, would come and stay over. She lived over an hour across the city and was studying business at a University near by. She was typical brazilian with brown hair, bronze skin, she drank more beer than me and she was completely completely crazy.

Lais, Ed, and I started the day by going down to Copacobana beach and sunbathing for a couple of hours. It was a typical hot and sunny day that you would imagine Rio de Janeiro to be like. Ladies in small bikinis, men playing beach soccer and people rollerblading up and down the street. It was awesome jumping the waves in the sea and afterwards eating corn on the cob from the food sellers walking along the beach. Lais had stayed over at our apartment last night after a party so she didn’t have any spare clothes with her . I bought her a new bikini on the way to the beach, which i’m sure didn’t look as small as the one I chose in the shop.

We watched some people stand up paddle boarding out in the bay and wanted us to have a go, so we walked down to Post 8 and hired out the paddleboards for an hour. Ed was hopeless at standing up on the board and was outside his comfort zone, I was way out ahead and paddling with ease. Lais had no chance and ended up sitting on the front of the board while an instructor sat behind her and paddled.

Stand-up Paddle Boarding in Rio


There was a man on the beach taking photos of us and he took our email address and for a small price sent us the photos. The photographer had taken a great one of me in Copacobana with Sugar Loaf Mountain in the background. Lais wasn’t happy with the photos he had taken of her so wanted to get one more picture on the paddleboard. I shouted and said “no come on we have a hospital appointment in one hours-time and we needed to get back to the apartment and get changed first.”

It was the first time I had lost my temper or been angry at something in over a year and I apologised to Ed for raising my voice in front of him but I really didn’t want to miss this hospital appointment. I was flying to Argentina in 6 days and I wouldn’t be able to see a doctor until then If I missed this.

Lais and I went to a consultant at a small clinic across the city and he checked all over my body including my balls. His English was not great so he was talking to Lais and she would nod and translate and they would continue to talk. My Portuguese wasn’t the best but trying to understand what they were saying at the pace they were talking was unthinkable. I just kept my eyes on Lais face and emotions to see if there was anything serious. She didn’t bat an eyelid so it can’t be that bad.

I was listening intently trying to pick out any words but it all just sounded like heth heth eth eth eth eth eth eth eth. They continued to talk and Lais stopped translating so I was picking out some words that sounded similar to English such as dificil meaning difficult and problemo meaning problem. Hmmm ok not the two best words that I could have picked out from those sentences.

They continued to talk faster and faster almost as if they didn’t want me to hear anything. Eth eth eth eth eth eth Gonorrhoea eth eth eth eth eth eth eth Tumour. Eth eth eth muito problemo.

Oh shit I just heard him say Gonorrhoea. What the fuck! I’m supposed to be travelling next week in hostels and I can’t start the trip with a sexually transmitted infection. That’s the sort of thing I might pick up from sleeping in hostel dorms but not before I even start the trip.

The doctor finished talking and then randomly handed me some condoms. Maybe this was normal procedure in Brazil?

Lais and I left the hospital clinic and I was in a bad mood because I thought she had given me an STI. We started talking and I said to her “I thought you told me you were all clean and not been with anyone else for a while”

She said “yes I was telling the truth, but we need to go to another hospital for more tests”

“So why did the doctor just say Gonorrhoea then?” I replied

“No, he said that he tested you for sexually transmitted infections like Gonorrhoea, and it’s nothing like that”

“Phewww excellent” I thought

“Yes he said it’s not anything sexual,………she paused………

but it could be a tumour”

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