Laid Low

Published 2006-11-18

The health ish just keep piling up here in Phoenix Villa. Friday at about 10:30 a.m. I began to feel achey/chilley/sore all over in a lovely flulike way. I know it was 10:30 exactly because I felt just ducky at 9:30 but like I’d been mugged by a hundred monkeys at 11:30.

So: I’ve been nursing this weird not-quite-flu thing since Friday. The fever broke last night, so in theory today I’m fine, so why is it I’m so cranky? Probably because you can’t find aspirin anywhere in our neighborhood

The scarcity of some items here (e.g. good coffee) can be easily ascribed to the local economy. Well-paid locals make about $1/hour; they certainly can’t affort $4 mochaccinos. On the other hand, the scarcity of other items (e.g. cheese) is due to the fact that Chinese people just don’t have a taste for it.

But seriously: no aspirin? It’s practically free in the States. Yes, you can get it here, but you have to go to a western pharmacy (we know of only one in town), or a big speciality store like Metro.

You don’t realize what a miracle drug aspirin is until you have to fight body aches, fever, sore throat, and chills without it. I took some of the local “flu medicine” and it did bupkiss for that stuff.

I am an ugly enough American to want the following items to be copiously available in every country in the world:

  • Free public restrooms (actually, China does pretty well on this score)
  • Ice
  • Aspirin

Is that so hard? It’s not like I’m expecting everyone to speak English, or open Starbuckses.

And: Bismarck has been suffering from some kind of skin infection. Maybe ringworm. He’s been to see a local vet twice now (third visit today), and it still doesn’t seem to be improving.

OK, I’m done complaining now.