Saturday, September 11, 2010
I think it’s safe to say that today was a bust. I was kept up all night with the effects of food poisoning, and when morning came around (none too soon) I asked my hotel to recommend a doctor for me to see. They called a hospital to make sure it was open; and it was, at least until noon. So I staggered outside and into a taxi, told the driver where I was going, and was whisked away to the entrance of a hospital I can’t remember the name of. It wasn’t a huge ordeal, though the hospital staff seemed to forget I was there at one point, and the nurse inexplicably gave me the thumb’s up when my temperature reading came in at 36.2 C (97.2 F). The doctor I saw put a stethoscope against my stomach, listened for about ten seconds, then massaged my stomach and said, “Does it ouch?” I told him no, it doesn’t ouch, at which point he straightened up again and solemnly pronounced, “Acute enteritis. Take medicine three days.”
So, that’s what I’m doing. I’m mostly just hanging out in my hotel room, waiting to recover. How this bout of food poisoning ended up being $40 cheaper than what I experienced in Cuzco, Peru, is beyond me. Maybe it’s that this doctor didn’t give me a single test, which I’m happy for. However, I’m not sure this is the best diagnostic strategy. I guess I’ll found out soon enough...
The only time I went outside my hotel today, aside from my hospital foray, was to visit Higashi Betsuin Temple. I have no idea what its significance is, though it’s big and impressive and near enough to where I’m staying that it wasn’t a trial to walk to.
And while I didn’t have the entire place to myself, there was hardly anyone else around. The most notable visitors were crows, who cawed to each other from high, opposite trees, and pigeons drinking from the cast-iron, flower-shaped water receptacles, which I thought were really beautiful.
I wandered around taking random photos, thinking to myself that my visit would be much more worthwhile if I knew more about what I was seeing.
I returned to my hotel along the road in back of the temple, but when I spied a café with a hot-pink signboard and the name “Sally’s Café, Started in 2010” I pretty much had to stop and see what that was about. I was curious to see who Sally was.
Well, Sally wasn’t there, but her staff told me that Sally was the stage name of a former singer from Toyama. She’s the owner. The two staff there were really nice and seemed happy to talk to me about Kanazawa. I ordered an iced tea and a piece of “soufflé cheesecake” (I know, terrible choice given my condition, but wow was that good) and parked it there long enough to get the full value of my snack’s ¥820 ($9.75) pricetag.
After that I came back to my hotel room and basically called it a day. Except that I did go out once more to buy steamed rice for dinner and some packaged fugu (blowfish) eggs for my Japanese friends in Hanoi. I hope they don’t die after eating them!
As I was shopping, incidentally, I came across a large sale rack of "Yankee Candles." I'm not sure what's "Yankee" about them, but hey, most of the English I see here makes no sense anyway.
Tomorrow I’m hoping to be much better – better enough, at least, to hit several more places in Kanazawa…