Tuesday, December 27, 2011

China Clean-Up

So I don't know if you heard, but I was a smidge under the weather in Shanghai.  I'll spare you the details, but let's just say I have a newfound respect for congee.  What had previously repulsed me (the bland flavor, the porridgey texture, the aged and pickled condiments), became my saving grace.  (Except for the condiments, however.  There was no way I was going to let a black egg or other mysteriously pickled thing drop a bomb in my digestive tract.)

I was sick enough to visit a doctor while I was there.  After repeatedly hearing people say that they were going to the "hospital" or asking me if I needed to go to the "hospital" (which I would always respond to by changing "hospital" to "doctor" with a smugness I am not proud of), I finally made an appointment with an English-speaking doctor, only to find that I had to go to the HOSPITAL to see him.  And here I thought they were just being overly dramatic with "hospital".  You win that one, Shanghai vernacular! 

My visit to the doctor... er, hospital was smooth, efficient, and quick.  They even did a test and I got the results back from the lab in 10 minutes.  And the pharmacy was on-site, so I got some meds and was right on my way.  It did cost upwards of $250, however.  But it was worth it.  Plus, I should be able to expense it.

The flight home was pretty miserable.  I was disheartened and crabby that my Christmas dinner of oysters and boudin blanc and mont d'or and caviar and foie gras and champagne was hanging in the balance.  I was hungry (but not taking any chances to put anything besides water down my throat) and angry at everyone on the plane who was enjoying his free bubbly and what smelled like the most delicious meal ever.  I wanted to smack the grab-hand of every Chinese guy I saw lift a roll off the rolly cart when the attendant wasn't looking.  So I finally put on my sleep mask and tried to find some tummy rumbling peace. 

I made it home, tired and hungry... but feeling optimistic.  I took it slow for another day, but by Christmas Day, I was pretty much back on solid (and indulgent) food.  But I'll save that for the next post.

Stepping off the elevator onto the floor of my company's sourcing office is stepping into a hot pink hell.  I don't know why the lights burn pink, as it is not sexy or seductive or whatever else they might have been hoping for.  It is merely disorienting.    

I wish this car was a Rolls or something.  Then this photo would be way more ballin'.

Pudong was absolutely DEAD when I arrived around 8 pm on Christmas-eve eve.

To kill time, I had to peruse all of the gift shops... just to look at things that would have made me wretchedly ill upon ingestion.  Check out these prawn rolls I found;  a "MANLY" China memory, indeed.

Meanwhile, back in Paris, someone called "GLADIATOR" moved into my building.  I am half-afraid, half-comforted.  Either way, I'm sure "TRUB" would be no match for his new neighbor, should it come to a stand-off in the air shaft or something.

The nugget was so happy to have me home.  She has not left me alone since I arrived.  Nothing like a tea and some kitty lovins to celebrate your return.