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January 9, 2007 - Guyuan, China

Walked the Earth They Did, With Stiff Arms

Preferred communication technique ? Low guttural grunts.

Typical ambulation? Slow foot-dragging, tipsy shuffle.

Appearance? Head down, shielding bulging eyes from the infernal sun, face pale.

Demeanor? Abrasive. Dangerous if cornered.

Diagnosis? Decapitate on sight. Zombie.

Good thing theres not a zombie hunter in sight or I’d be sitting in two sacks. A head sack and a body sack.

While not thrilled to have caught the Guyuan flu this weekend, I thought that I at least had a jump on the the rest of the world. I had caught the Asian flu that sweeps itself over the States and Europe a few weeks later - but no. It sounds like th entire city of Manhattan is sick with the flu. So much for being an early adopter.

Classes haven’t been the most fun - especially not when I feel like I’m half-drunk, half-dizzy - but have been moving along ok. I do feel a bit guilty about not being my usual cheery self to some of the more troublesome classes - I laid down the law and they soon figured out a wounded Allister is much more dangerous beast to deal with.

Yesterday I finally caved and asked a colleague for some help with buying flu meds. He seemed to take this as a call to great duty, pulled out a pad and motioned me to sit down on a stool next to him.

What are your symptoms?

Funny that I had just told him in passing what they were - I guess he wanted to play doctor.



Sinus Pressure.

Ah. Mmmmm.


Hmm. Yes. Ahhh.

All the time scribbling away on his tiny little pad with a knitted brow and pursed lips.

He mentioned that there was a pharmacy next to his house and would bring me medicine to “cure” my symptoms in the morning.

Mind you I was getting pretty desperate.

My head felt like a tight girdle, continually popping laces, trying to keep my fat little eyes from popping out of their tiny little sockets. But I wondered at what cost that desperation would come at.

Visions of Chinese medicine danced through my head. Sugar plums? I wouldn’t be that lucky. Prickly red berry suppositories. Bear gonad snuff. Tinctures of ewe bladder. Snake fetus shooters. Glasses of strangely opaque water. Teas made with little non-flower flowery-looking bits.

Yes, yes, I know that’s not Chinese medicine, but a flu-addled brain does run wild.

I readied myself for the worst and hoped that my “remedies” wouldn’t come at the cost of some poor endangered animal.

This morning walking into the office I spied a package on my desk.

It wasn’t moving. Good sign. Moving closer it didn’t smell of death. Good sign. It wasn’t in a brown paper bag. Good sign.

Slowly opening it I can’t tell you the sense of relief that overcame me when I saw the beautiful round little bubbles of blister pack and the little half-red half-blue gems within. Granted it could have been morphine or powdered sugar inside those glistening little gelcaps, but they were a welcome sight.

Two of the yellow-green ones later my fat little eyeballs started to fit nicely back inside my head.

Now, where can I find a nice juicy brain…

» Link lovin’

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Indecency of Presents - Warning: Video link. Also offensive in some degree. Bravo Saturday Night Live. Thanks SMO.

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