Sunday, March 05, 2006

And so Tutu Mangumbo the Local Witch Doctor told me I owed him 14 chickens...

This is a catastrophe edition from the Wilds of the untamed Lebanese wilderness. That’s right your beloved author is in Beirut and things have gotten all the more complicated…
It appears that since our last update things have succeeded in going to hell in a hand basket and snatching defeat from the jaws of victory!
First, after its initial suicide dive off of a desk in class my laptop has decided that though it can take falls it can’t take being opened carefully. The LCD contrast bulb has blown. This is a common and silly occurrence which means I am at Hanu’s clogging the bandwidth as I download this whopping 90.90 Megs of Windows updates.
Now everyone in unison… God Bless Bill Gates like he deserves to be blessed!
I have also finished creating the CD of doom for the next spinning class on Monday complete with pain and suffering built right into it!
Then, comes the health update from the shallow end of medicine.
You know you have moved into the wrong section of town when the local voodoo witch doctor actually starts to look like a truly appealing choice for seeking appropriate health care.
Our sub plot begins with a trip to the pharmacy or “saydaleeya”
It is hard enough finding a shop other than the ones that sell menaeesh open on Sunday. Even most of the local ex convicts mercenaries and villans that took up their second career as vegetable salesmen won’t break the Sabbath to open. Let’s say you are sick and being that all viruses and bacteria specifically choose days off when is it most likely that you will get to your sickest points in life?
You got it!
At about 2 in the morning your stomach starts bubbling rebellion and you do the all too familiar trip to the toilet. Have a seat you will be there for a while. Yes seat belting yourself in may provide some respite from blowing yourself to kingdom come. Why is it that at these vulnerable points in one’s life does it pop into your head lectures of television shows on pollution and environmental health?
Yes first I started thinking Cadmium poisoning or other wonderful heavy metals that were dumped on the Lebanese population so that some local militia could afford more guns, ammo, sex, drugs, and rock and roll.
Or was it the whole food cleanliness lecture with the Bird Flu lecture and the interesting note that the coldest sickest looking chickens get put on the TOP rotating skewer at your local Farooj (rotisserie chicken) restaurant. The red drippy INFECTED JUICES sliding off the white flakey skin of the top bird directly down onto the chicken picked by your local manager to sell to you. Yes he doesn’t worry that you are going to feel this one in the morning… Oh no he slides it off the skewer without a twitch in his conscience and uses his ratty pliers to crank off the greasy bolt holding the bird in place.
Was it the lead paint and asbestos that has been pulverized into airbone fog that now floods your lungs as the local Syrian demolition crew sledge hammered the building two doors down?
It might have been that last ride around Lebanon where that cab in front seemed to thrill in making you choke down the black clouds of smoke pouring out of his tailpipe. Yes there are emission laws but there are a thousand emissions guys that will look the other way for a couple thou (in Lira).
You look your skinny slack cheeks in the mirror and say to yourself well here we go… Rummaging around the draw of drugs that you have aquired in your short stay you fish out the mother of all killers…CIPROFLOXIN and prepare to down what is tantamount to an antibacterial Nuclear weapon. You remember what they told you in Chronic diseases about how you should finish your prescribed regiment of antibiotics and how bad it is when the little buggers get immunity but right now blowing out your very last O-ring seems as good a reason as any to skirt the rules. So I took two 500mg tablets so sue me! It worked and I FINALLY got some sleep.
I’m going to keep at it for a week so no worries concerning the drug resistant bacteria.
Then, comes the discovery that I have been taking it in 2 pills twice a day with only four doses remaining…
This IS serious… damn it where is there a respectable pharmacist when you need them?
The answer is NO WHERE.
I drop in to the only one open on the entire street called Hamra at 11am and he hands me Cephrodar the Jordanian knockoff of something.
I Wanted death and consequences quinolone Ciprofloxacin and he gave me tuck the bacteria in and read them a bedtime story Cephlexin!!
So I marched back when I discovered the difference and gave him… a good talking to. What would have happened if I got a MAOI inhibitor instead…big BIG FATALITY TYPE PROBLEMS!!!
Not to mention the fact that I just got the drug that I wanted… clearly labeled PRESCRIPTION ONLY without a prescription… Gives you a rough idea how much the law really matters here.
Now that my updates are chugging up to 72% I may get a shawarma and a print out of the CD tracks for the local Energizer stunt bunny Patricia…
Hmm I hope that my Polar Heart Rate monitor doesn’t hiccup again like it did last class.
193 is nowhere near a respectable heart rate even through it felt like that is what I was doing… the replacement told me it was a mere 171! After getting out on the bike and going for quite a ways without the reading I stopped on the Corniche and restarted that monitor with a own pulse monitor to the wrist unit reset. Off to the races. Dashing down the seashore again up the two climbs over the bridge into Ouzai and sliding down to the airport…Wonderful…YES and after a spinning class it feels like taking over the entire world!
I wish I was out there today but here I am updating word at the fastest internet connection in part of Lebanon and hoping to finish off this silly report on the current impact of HIV in Iraq.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

dearest otter, noble nabil sent me your way to see what i could expect in lebanon when i come to visit next month. so i have been enjoying reading...

1:58 AM, March 10, 2006  

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