not again…

September 23rd, 2007

And so today brought another examination of what I consumed yesterday to figure out what got me this time.

I used to have a cast-iron gut. Then I went to Tianjin. And people wonder why I hate Tianjin.

Anyway, mostly better now, still a bit sore and feeling fragile.

And we’re supposed to be choosing wedding photos today- choosing the photos to go in the album. We were supposed to do that at two this afternoon- twenty minutes ago, in other words. We first postponed that till Friday, then my gut started slowly coming right, so we brought it back to four this afternoon. Well, lzh could’ve gone and done that herself, I mean, she’ll probably do most of the choosing, anyways but it just wouldn’t feel right, I mean, they’re our photos. And besides, they won’t let us bring them home today- why, I don’t know. I certainly don’t see the harm in us putting the photos we choose on to a USB memory doohickey, even if they aren’t in their final form. So if lzh went on her own, I wouldn’t get to see the photos for another month. But I must remember, even though a large sum of money found its way from my bank account to their bank account, they’re doing us a really big favour.

Grumpiness aside, I would like to say that I find folk medicine kinda interesting. I mean, the various things people believe, do, eat and drink to preserve or repair their health, just on their own, the stuff that’s handed down through the generations. Nothing to do with doctors and clinics and hospitals. Like, when I was little, when I caught a cold my mum would make a lemon and honey drink. Then, of course, everything got industrialised, and along came Lemsip. I don’t know why anyone would buy Lemsip, considering how easy and cheap it is to make your own. My own hardcore version involves the rind and juice of one lemon and a tablespoon of Manuka honey mixed in hot water. The version for soft people is just a slice of lemon and honey to taste. And I’ve been getting to see a lot of rural northern Chinese folk medicine since that fateful move to Tianjin and the resultant severe rusting of that cast-iron gut.

The Chinese obssession with heat and cold is interesting. I got yelled at after one late-night, mid-winter sprint for the piss-bucket (not a bedpan, an otherwise ordinary bucket reserved for night-time use), because clearly drinking beer in the middle of winter is insane and I’d obviously frozen my gut. Then I was told to lie face down on the kang to warm my gut up. Strange thing was, I was back to normal by the morning, so for the rest of that stay in the village I’d start each night lying on my gut from freezing. And the strange thing was, I had no more trouble. Then last time I got that really bad round of food poisoning up in the village and wound up going to the county hospital, I got yelled at for drinking yoghurt afterwards. Why? It was cold, and so of course I would have to sprint for the toilet after drinking it, you don’t eat or drink anything cold on a dodgy gut, lest you freeze it and send yourself sprinting for the toilet again.

One particularly odd (at least, I thought) folk cure for an upset gut I was given once was fried eggs washed down with a shot of baijiu. It didn’t cure me, but it certainly did help settle my gut long enough to get to Laogu’s place in the county town. Laogufu then went out to get some proper medicine which finished off the cure.

Now, I don’t believe the traditional explanation for all this, but there certainly does seem to be some kind of truth to it. At least, these folk explanations and remedies do seem to help.

Better run- we have to leave for the Shadow Building soon.

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