Driving back to France was so much easier.
The first 300 – 400 km we drove along the Mediterranean, and even so the area wasn’t as flat as I was used to, it was nothing compared to driving through the Pyrenees.
So far we had spent a lot of time doing nothing but relaxing. It had been one very long vacation actually, but now we were determined to find a place to stay and work for some month, and even so I really would have loved to see Marseille, we passed it by maybe 100 km and drove north to Lyon.
As I told you earlier, normally Torben was very chatty, but while we were driving he got quiet. He also went pale and sweaty, and by the time we reached Lyon he was having a fever and shaking.
I didn’t really know what to do, so I found a camping place and put up our tent, and the minute Torben hit his sleeping bag he fell into a feverish sleep with night mares. It was scary.
The next morning he was even sicker than the night before, and I asked for the way to the next doctor, almost lifted Torben out of the tent and drove him there.
That doctor didn’t like foreigners, or that was the impression I got.
I wasn’t allowed to go into the consultation with Torben, and even so he normally was the one of us who was best at French, he was so sick he could barely speak Danish. He was able to ask if there was something wrong with his appendix though.
Maybe Torben didn’t pronounce it in a proper French way, but the doctor wasn’t able to understand what he was asking about and let him walk out of there without helping him in any way.
I had never seen Torben being that sick, and I was afraid what might happen to him, so I made a quick decision, returned to the camping place, packed the car and drove homewards.
I don’t remember what way we drove, but I had had enough of France at that point and we crossed the border to Germany as fast as we could get there. At least I would be able to talk to people and be understood there.
We didn’t know where to find another doctor that night, and Torben just wanted to sleep in a bed, so we found a hotel for the night, and the next day he just wanted to go home.
And that was what we did.
We drove for many, many hours and only stopped to get more fuel for the car or something to drink for ourselves, and in the morning of the third day since we left Lyon, while we were crossing the bridge my grandfather helped building many years ago, and which connects Holstein and Schleswig in the northern part of Germany, Torben woke up and looked better.
“You know what?” he said.
“What?” I answered.
“I think I know what made me sick.”
“Yeah, you remember in Barcelona…”
“Outside the kitchen there were some cranes with a sign that said: No drinking water.”
“I drank from one of them.”
I should have been mad at him, but he looked better and we were almost home and I was so relieved, I forgave him right there.