Friday, February 6, 2009

Shanghai: Day Six

Today, I woke up not feeling so good at all. The plan was to go to the old city, see the Yu Gardens and the Yu Yuan “Symphony of Lights,” and to go indoor karting with another two expat couples living in Shanghai. Since Josh was coming along, we would have lunch at his favorite place, the Gourmet Café, a burger and sandwich joint run by an Englishman.

When Lynn told me we were breakfasting Western, I was excited. “So I can have oatmeal?” No. “French toast?” No. “Pancakes?” No. In case you don’t notice the trend, I wanted something bland; my belly was roiling. When we got there, I ordered a chicken sandwich against my better judgment, the only other choices being hamburgers, veggie burgers, falafel, and salads. I should have just had a smoothie.

With Lynn and Josh leading the way, and me trailing a few paces behind with my hand on my stomach, we went to Weiwei and Blackhead, a notebook/stuffed animal shop where I bought some gifts, and saw this amazing lamp (yes, that is the switch).

Then, we kept walking. We walked for half an hour. I must have looked horrible, because Josh kept asking if I wanted to stop and get some tea, or if I wanted to go home. I was certain that I would feel better eventually, and insisted on powering through. Every time we saw or smelled something like this (which is often in Chinese streets) another wave of nausea would come over me and I would pray to puke, but I couldn’t.

I decided that a medicine should be invented that made you instantly puke when you wanted to, but couldn’t. Finally, I broke down and asked Lynn how much farther we had to walk. She told me another 30 minutes, and I tried to puke next to a bicycle, but just ended up coughing. I told them I needed to go home. They wanted to come with me, but I refused, as we had friends to meet in that far-away district in just a few hours. Finally, they put me in a cab, told the driver where to go, and sent me off, keys in hand.

The ride took a long time; my face was flushed and sweating, and I clutched the door’s handle to minimize the bouncing. The television in front of me (cabs here have mini touch-screen TVs that show advertisements, like the ones now installed in New York) was loud and went through its cycle of commercials four times before I got home. There at last, I got in bed and curled into an unhappy ball, sleeping on and off until the next morning, waking up once to let Josh and Lynn in, and again to (at last) blow chunks all over the toilet. Now I feel so much better.


courtney said...

That lamp rules. But more importantly, the evil stuffed animal is amazing!

courtney said...

Oh, and sorry you are ill. I really have been craving dumplings (which I have had like once) after reading the blog. I am not a fan of illness though, so maybe I don't want them so much right now. But it's quater to five (AM style) and I am boozy so all food of a greasy, carb-y nature sounds amazing.