Wednesday, January 21, 2004


Today I slept thru practice. Last night was rough -- as it got darker the fever came back and worsened and each time after eating the stomach would churn, churn, churn and then it'd be time to hit the toilet. And drink water. This makes one tired as the body is not getting any nourishment -- although I did finally keep down a pudgy, rose-colored Kerala banana......Today was a moon day anyway (primary series practice only) and after Y knocked on my door around 9'30 I met up w/ her at the German Bakery (of course) where I tried to consume my usual pot of chai (made it thru half) and uppama (ate about a third, despite thinking, "There are starving children in the US!"). I was invited to A) go to Kanyakumari w/ Y, The FC and W, or B) hit a movie w/ Bindi and her rickshaw driver friend -- a controversial one in the local language w/ action and communual violence. I tentatively chose B and said, "Let me go back to my room and see what happens" and sho 'nuff about ten minutes later the washing machine effect began -- I imagine the little fuckers taking all they need from what I've eaten and spitting out the rest -- and then it was back to my most lovely western toilet. BTW a hot topic of meal conversation here is bowel movements -- how often, the consistency, color, etc. So if you are not into such talk STOP NOW.

OK, you had your chance. Suffice to say 'twas yellow, frothy, eggy -- all the symptoms of giardia. After emptying myself I went to the "English Doctor" I visited last time around (for a sinus infection), walking past our old hotel, down a most delightful windy cement path thru a green green palm-filled paddy or whatever and up a huge hill -- and he was right where I left him. The "sisters" in pale blue saris had me sit down and a minute later I was sitting next to the doctor himself, who checked my pulse and tongue and had me describe in detail my symptoms (always a treat for me). He agreed it was most likely a parasite, probably giardia. Only a stool sample would tell for sure and I was not in the mood. He fixed me up w/ two days of meds, hydration salts etc for Rs 300 (about $6) and said to come back in two days; one day if I hadn't improved. Love that man. Spent the afternoon buying books, making a call to the US (where it was 1'45 AM, oops), eating (and expelling) iddly and hanging out in my room. I ventured out an hour or so ago for a tender coconut on the beach, where I met a German man who told me about a type of alpine skiing where you walk up the hill yourself. He said not many Americans are traveling abroad. I said it was because of the weak dollar. He said no, they're afraid of air travel. And then it all became clear: Bush's reelection plan is to keep us scared so we don't travel and find out how weak the dollar is (and how upset the rest of the world is with the US right now). Meanwhile our foreign goods are cheap, they fly off the shelves and jobs are created in 'Merica. Life looks good so people actually elect him this time around. O for an absentee ballot....

Diatribe is finished. Can I just say I can see the beach from where I am typing this? There's a breeze, the sun is going down, and there is a beautiful pink glow to everything. Feeling very lucky to be an ugly 'Merican right now....(and knocking wood at this very moment).

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