Not to descend into the gutter, but since I've spent so much time talking about the great food I've been eating, I should give some space to the repercussions of all that exotic cuisine. I was laid low by e-coli or some other nasty stomach bug last night and today. I think it was the orange juice at my hotel breakfast, which was basically Tang, probably mixed with Beijing sewer water.
What's worse, I was running low on Imodium, the traveler's best friend. You don't want to go to India without the stuff. So I dragged myself down to the pharmacy next door to the hotel. Imagine walking into Shopper's drug mart, but every character on every bottle is in Chinese. Bewildering to say the least.
I wandered the aisles until a saleslady asked me something in Chinese. I patted and rubbed my stomach. She looked at my belly, and then grabbed a box from the shelf that had a pink stomach on it. Aha, Chinese Pepto-Bismol, I thought. But then she motioned for me to wait and got someone who spoke English. I told this second woman I wanted Imodium and she took the box from my hand and returned it to the shelf. As we walked over to the proper aisle, I asked: "What was that other saleslady going to give me?"
I paid for my Imodium and left the store, my self esteem a few notches lower.