8 Mar

I have the best mom in the world! Today at lunchtime the guards at the school gate chased me down to tell me that I received a package in the mail. It’s full of food and Easter stuff and American magazines to use with my students. But the best part? Mr. Clean Erasers. Wow, was I excited to see them!

The care package couldn’t have come at a more welcome time, since I am currently coming down with a cold and a little taste of home was heaven. It isn’t surprising that I’m getting sick, since I catch ALL the colds. If someone has a sore throat within a 3 block radius, I will catch it. I expected to get sick in China at some point–after all, I’m bound to be exposed to different cold strains here than I would be exposed to back home. I’m almost impressed that I made it a whole month illness-free.

Still, it’s no fun…and I’m anticipating that it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

Somehow, I didn’t actually pack any cold medicine. I don’t know what I was thinking–I caught a cold first thing in Mexico last summer, and trying to get my hands on the medicine I wanted felt like a production (not because it wasn’t available, of course, but because I wasn’t familiar with where I needed to go and what I needed to ask for). You’d think I would have learned my lesson and brought some damn pseudoephedrine to China. But no.

Today, I went to the Chinese pharmacy and after a round of fake sneezing, fake coughing, and rubbing at my throat while making a pained face, they gave me an anti-viral and some antihistamine. Better than nothing!

So far, this week’s been going pretty well at work. I’m starting to suspect that I was given two relatively calm weeks to settle in and adjust to my new schedule, and now that two weeks have passed the extra requests are coming out of the woodwork. I’ve been busy. I tutored on Sunday morning, as I mentioned in my last post, and yesterday evening I met with another small group of elementary students.

After class today I worked with an older student, Cybil, who is about to have an English interview at Hong Kong University. She invited me to eat dinner with her family while she practiced her English, which was very nice. Her father cooked, and the food was delicious. We ate some sort of sausage, steamed eggs, some green vegetable that I eat all the time here but can’t identify, and duck wings. Also, her family’s apartment is on the 7th floor (no elevators!) of a building in the same living district as mine, and even though it was hazy today, from that height I could finally see the vague outline of Mt. Lushan!

I’m not sure that this is coherent–my head is a little bit spinny. I think I’m going to eat some more jelly beans and head to bed.


4 Responses to “sniffle”

  1. kjschnur March 9, 2011 at 5:30 am #

    It was fun here to try to imagine as a mom and a teacher what you might need. The USA locks up the psuedoephedrine like a national treasure. Because our young people have too much time on their hands and use their latent creativity to make it something else.
    I hope you feel better soon,

    • Erin March 9, 2011 at 1:41 pm #

      It turns out that psuedoephedrine is not available in China at all! In fact, I’m having trouble finding any decongestant. I might just have to struggle through without it.

  2. Jessica March 9, 2011 at 3:20 pm #

    There are other versions of Sudafed now, though, so maybe I can send you some…? Colds without medication are NO fun (I got one each during my pregnancies and couldn’t take anything. Blech)! Hope you feel better soon.

    P.S. My mom is the best when I’m sick, too.

    • Erin March 10, 2011 at 11:19 pm #

      I finally did manage to track down some pseudoephedrine…first the pharmacist told me I should put leeks up my nose instead (from what I gathered, the idea is that they’d work sort of like VapoRub?) but I managed to convince her it’s just not practical for teaching. So she sold me the decongestant! Major score. I’m feeling much better today.

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