While I was spending all that time on the loo last week, I wondered about the term Montezuma’s revenge. I got the revenge part, but why Montezuma? Who was he, and why does he want revenge?
Well, in short, Montezuma II was the name of the ruling Aztec Emperor with whom the Spanish started their, uhm, negotiations. When Hernando Cortés marched to Tenochtitlan in 1519, he killed thousands of people in a city on his way to the capital. We don’t really know why, but the fact was that the Aztecs waiting for him in Tenochtitlan were not that impressed. Montezuma II received him very friendly though, hoping to find out the weak point of the Spanish. He allowed Cortés to set up quarters in Tenochtitlan and gave him loads of presents. Some think because the Aztecs believed Cortés to be the embodiment of their god Quetzalcoatl, but scientists these days believe that to be untrue. Who knows?
Either way, Cortés figured out the Aztecs were not as friendly as they appeared to be. He took Montezuma as a hostage. A lot of battling went on all over the place and in the end Cortés was driven out of Tenochtitlan. When he released Montezuma, the emperor was stoned to death by his own people. So you can see why Montezuma would like to take revenge. Unfortunately, the revenge is not saved for just the Spaniards.
Depending on where you travel to, the affliction may have a different name. While I was travelling in Asia, I stumbled on (but never had) Delhi belly for instance; the Teheran Tummy is just as famous. Another word for it here in Mexico is the Aztec Two-Step. Yeah, real funny terms for not such a funny state of being, probably thought of by people who didn’t have it.
If you travel, enjoy your holidays and know that the ‘revenge’ should go away on its own after a couple of days. If not, find a doctor to prescribe you whatever it is that you need, because apart from traveler’s diarrhea, it could also be something else entirely. Such as dysentery, food poisoning, Staphylococcus aureus, viral gastroenteritis, Shigella, Giardia, Campylobacter, or the odd parasite, etc.
When I told friend A. about my affliction, she told me to get Eskapar. She always takes it when her tummy goes off. So I did and I can highly recommend the intestinal antibiotics (you can get it over the counter here). She was totally right. One pill a day for 5 days makes it all go away.
Self-medication, you gotta love it!