Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Observations about my illness

"You look very tired, sir." - cocktail waitress at the Venetian casino in Macau, serving me a coffee at 3 am.

"Wow, you look like hell." - Britt, as we walked to dinner the next day.

"You're looking...tired, sir." - my tailor, when I arrived for my third suit fitting at 1 pm the day after that.

"You have bronchitis." - the doctor at the University Health Services Office today.

Ugh. Thanks, Hong Kong pollution.

So it's not tonsillitis, meaning for the first time, I have misdiagnosed my own illness. I'm usually quite good at that.

I've discussed how Hong Kong is more western than the west, with its commercialist obsessions. Apparently, that goes for overmedication too. The school doctor prescribed me: (1) 5 days' worth of antibiotics; (2) a week's worth of real Sudafed; (3) a week's worth of prescription expectorant; and (4) a week's worth of prescription pain-and-fever medication. I could open up a black market in prescription meds.

Although in a decidedly un-American twist, I received all of this medication for free, without so much as presenting an insurance card. Guess that kills the black market.

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