I got sick in Jaisalmer, India. It wasn’t my fault.

I was sitting at an outdoor restaurant, trying to decide what to order, and these three Canadian nurses suggested, “Order the thali.”

Okay fine, I like thalis—Indian combination plates. When my meal arrives, one of the curries is cold.

“Hey guys, should I eat this? I hear that you should always eat hot food in India, so you know it’s fresh.”

“Oh, it’s okay Dave. Thalis sometimes come cold. It’s not a problem.”

So I eat the food, and the next day I’m sick, I mean really sick. 103 fever, the works.

And the worst thing is, I was supposed to go on a camel trek the following day. A bucket-list item, dashed!

About all I can do is eat rice and bananas, lay low, and read the Razor’s Edge by Somerset Maugham.

Eventually I’m able to wander, slowly, around the town, which I discover is utterly amazing. Nicknamed “the Golden City,” Jaisalmer is situated 357 miles west of Rajasthan’s capitol, Jaipur, smack in the middle of desert on the way to Pakistan. What makes Jaisalmer a “wow” is how everything in town is carved out of yellow sandstone. Everywhere you look, you see carved architectural elements: windows, doors, balconies. Wood seems to be in short supply, but boy is there a lot of sandstone! Even cooler are the local denizens, clad in neon-bright saris and long flowing robes and turbans. And don’t get me started on the camels. We’re in Arabian Nights territory here.
I wonder if I would’ve explored Jaisalmer so thoroughly if I hadn’t gotten so thoroughly sick. Sometimes, when you’re on the road, you to need to turn mangos into mango lassis.

When was the last time you had your highest hopes dashed, only to discover something even better, arising from the ashes like Dumbledore’s phoenix? Are you a glass-is-half-empty person, or a half-full person? Is it different on the road vs. at home? If so, why?