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Two of my favorite things:

In a bar in Bangkok.

Whiskey and books.

Actual Job Title: April 20

“Chief of Child Department”

No words…

If I get Shingles, there is no justice

There is a new Shingles vaccine, that is recommended for people who are over 50 years old (ahem).  The health unit at post HIGHLY recommended the shot to those of us who have reached that milestone.  So last Wednesday, we were all scheduled for the shot.

My first warning sign should have been when the nurse told me I had to wait in the office for 15 minutes after getting the shot.  Actually there was an earlier warning sign.  Getting the shot HURT.  I’m a wimp when it comes to needles, but I’ve developed some coping strategies.  Still, that stuff was really painful when it went in.  It’s been four days now, and my arm is still sore.

Some people get dizzy right after getting the shot, the nurse said, and some people faint.  That’s why we have to wait in the office after, so the nurse can monitor our condition.  I didn’t feel anything right away, so she let me go back to work.

About 30 minutes later, when I was back in the consular section, interviewing visa applicants, the dizziness hit me hard.  I couldn’t focus, and felt a little fuzzy mentally.  I felt that in that condition, deciding if a person could enter the United States would be counter to our nation’s national security interests, so I took myself off the line and sat down.  About an hour later, I was back to normal.

Later that night, the fever and ache kicked in.  It felt like I was coming down with the flu.  I went to bed as early as I could, hoping to sleep it off.  The next morning, I woke up with a splitting headache, stuffy nose, and aches.  I called in sick (I hate to do that) and rested up.

This was the worst side-effect of an immunization that I’ve ever experienced.  Unfortunately, that was only one of a series of two shots that are required for the vaccine to be effective.  So another round of this torture is waiting for me in two months.

I feel justified in making this demand of the universe: this vaccine had better work!  If after enduring this, I still get Shingles, I will be entitled to a refund for the pain and suffering.  I will demand that the universe refund those two days to me.

At the very least, I will be entitled to a popsicle.

So, this happened

And of course, because it’s me, this happened at the beginning of the work day, not at the end.  A quick trip to the men’s room with a stapler patched me up so I could get through the day.

Good thing I was wearing black underwear today, and not tighty-whities.

I’ve heard a lot about the great tailors in Vietnam.  Maybe this was the universe’s way of suggesting that I visit one of them.

Insert fart joke here.

 

peek-a-boo!

Basic is value

Finally had a bowl of Pho that I liked

One of the national dishes of Vietnam is “pho.” It’s spelled “phở.” To  pronounce it correctly, start to drop the f-bomb, and leave off the final “k” sound.  Or start to say “full” and leave off the final “ll” sound. It’s a noodle soup, usually with beef or chicken.  It’s very mild.  Vietnamese people see it as comfort food.  I see it as boring.  Usually.

By Codename5281 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23216056

A few days ago, I got a stomach bug that was really debilitating (I was lying in bed all afternoon today with stomach cramps).  This evening I wasn’t really hungry, but I needed to get something in my stomach, so I went out for some pho. It isn’t hard to find pho in Vietnam.  It’s everywhere, from streetside bistros to upscale restaurants.  I chose a middle-of-the-road chain called Pho 24.

Usually I don’t like pho.  It’s so mild that it’s boring.  But this time, it was just what the doctor ordered.  The rice noodles are easy to digest, and the warm broth feels good on an upset tummy. Maybe pho is Vietnam’s answer to chicken soup. If chicken soup is Jewish penicillin, maybe pho is Vietnamese penicillin.

Message received

I promise not to touch it.  But can you tell me what’s inside? Just curious.

No, you can’t.

Sometimes pollution is pretty

The air pollution index was high today. While it probably isn’t good for your lungs, it made the view from the American Center look nice.