Delhi Belly

“You’ll probably get the squits while you’re here,” said my boss. “Most expats get something like Giardia every three months, lots of gas and gripes. We don’t know what it is, some kinda protozoa, Blastocystis or something similar. Gets better with a couple of grams of tinidazole. You’ll be right, mate.” Yes, he is Australian.


I’ve been here four days and my bowels are doing fine, despite being tempted by barbecued soya products on the street corner by our local park in Shalimar Bagh. Here’s the takeaway menu.


In fact, the food is so good, I am putting on weight. I live in a busy urban area of North Delhi where the streets are tangled with traffic for 18 hours a day. With broken pavements and open drains, it is no place to go jogging. There are gyms, filled with desperate, sweaty young men grimly pounding away on treadmills under fluorescent lights. And even some establishments for well-covered ladies trying to control their type 2 diabetes.

I am looking for an open air swimming pool nearby, but I’ll be careful to keep my mouth closed to avoid ingesting blastocysts.


By Dr Alfred Prunesquallor

Maverick doctor with 40 years experience, I reduced my NHS commitment in 2013. I am now enjoying being free lance, working where I am needed overseas. Now I am working in the UK helping with the current coronavirus pandemic.

1 comment

  1. Did an Explore holiday starting in Dheli four years ago and the only person who got ill for the whole trip was the guide, mind you I think most of us became vegaterian on that one.Seeing the meat and fish on stalls in the street covered in flies sort of makes you want to be one.

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