The world turned upside down

September 15th, 2011 by | Country: China | No Comments »

Monday night, Sophia, her husband and I were all dying for a grand feast after having not eaten much on the trip.  So, we went to a big “hot pot” restaurant.  As I mentioned in a previous post, hot pot is a Chinese dish where families and friends will gather around at a table and cook food via a hot pot.  We ate different kinds of pork, vegetables, and tofu.  I am not going to deny that it was the best dinner I had as it brought back the good memories of when Sophia and I made delicious hot pots in her flat in London.


I also can’t forget to mention that, as I was the only westerner in the restaurant, I got many noticeable stares.  At one point, I turned my head around slightly, and I saw a man behind me snapping photos of me via his phone!  I wasn’t pissed.  I laughed.  People have the right to be curious about who I was and there is nothing wrong with it.  If only I could speak Chinese, I would share my story with them about what I was doing at this place.

A few hours after the wonderful feast, the world turned upside down.  I woke up after going to sleep for about an hour or two feeling completely nauseated.  I thought, “Oh no!  This can’t be happening!”  I became very ill with bad food poisoning.  There is no need for me to tell the details as that would be ‘too much information.’

Sophia assisted me to the hospital where they had an international travel clinic the following morning.  It was the longest day of my life.  I was in so much pain that every time I was standing such as in an elevator, I had to sit down.  My stomach, back, chest and head were all hurting so badly and I was constantly nauseated.  I felt like I wanted to shoot myself.  I was in complete tears and hysteria.  The doctors and nurses tried to calm me down by not only letting me know what they could do for me and that they were there for me, but also letting me know that I was the third foreign traveler with the exact same symptoms to arrive at the hospital that day!  I should note that I arrived at the hospital at 8 AM in the morning!

I was treated with antibiotics via IV at the hospital and sent home with pills.  I am now doing much better today than I was last Tuesday, but I am going to take it easy until I head to the next destination….




Yes.  I made changes again for the umpteenth time.  After a lot of thorough thinking, even though Sophia and I don’t want to leave each other early, we felt that it is best for me to avoid visiting her in-laws who live in a rural area because god forbid I get sick again, getting medical help would be extremely difficult – it would take the whole day to get to the nearest hospital!  When Sophia mentioned this concern to me, I remembered why I should appreciate the health care my country, the US, has to offer – its advanced medical facilities that allow people to get medical attention as soon as possible, even utilizing helicopters.  When the shooting at Gabrielle Gifford’s meeting occurred last January, my friend from Brazil said to me, “What impressed me the most about the news coverage was how quickly these people were able to receive medical attention.  We don’t have this speedy care in many locations in Brazil.”

So, I will be leaving Haikou this Saturday morning and will be heading to Shanghai and staying with a family friend from the US until Thursday of next week when I head back to North America.

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