Sunday, 19 July 2009
Brits take Swine Flu to China
OK, I'm taking childish pleasure in this, but am I the only person to think it's funny that, reversing all the Yellow Peril scares about dastardly Chinese and their Avian Flu, SARS and even Foot & Mouth Disease (exposed as a flat out lie by a government department in 2000), British kids have now taken Swine Flu into China?
The students say that, although their once-in-a-lifetime school trip has been scuppered and they're confined to the hotel, they're still having a nice time with top medical care and "very good" food.
This reminds me of my own disrupted grand tour of China, accompanying my parents during the Mao era, when I contracted dysentery in a Karachi stopover to Beijing. Well, my mother did warn me not to eat any meat for the two days we were there, drink bottled water and wash the fruit. So who knows what madness made me think it was a good idea, out of range of my parents, to buy a burger off a street-stall that I wouldn't have touched had it been parked outside a London tourist trap.
I spent ten days in a Beijing hospital, quarantined in a spotlessly clean tiled room, listening to the cicadas chirruping while my guts exploded in slomo. I was given a mixture of Chinese medicine and Western pills by masked nurses and doctors who were incredibly kind and caring. And the food was lovely — steamed rice with small tasty portions of meat and veg.
In another personal note, I see some of the invalids were from Central Foundation School in Clerkenwell, the brother school of my own Central Foundation Girls School formerly of Spitalfields. Small world, large gin.
Get well soon, guys.
Also picked up by Splinty