Here in Saigon the food is excellent but one must be careful where one eats! A lot of foods have natural bacteria and most Westerners are not accustomed to certain types of bacteria found in the food here. It sounds disgusting but every six months foreigners have to take some medicine to “de-worm” themselves because almost everyone will suffer from diarrhea. I took my medicine not more than a month ago but yesterday ate at the greasy spoon restaurant around the corner and I caught something fierce. I have felt like hell for the past two days and am hoping that it will go away. At least 30 times a day my stomach cramps up and it is really painful! But if it keeps up then I will have to get myself to the hospital once again.
Speaking of sicknesses the bird flu has made headlines once again. The papers love the statistic that it could become a pandemic and up to 7 million could die if the disease spreads. But this is a bit misleading and sensationalist. Thousands die every year of common colds as well as the flu. Since there is no vaccination for this new type, the mortality rate could be worse from this flu than normal. I’m not worried in the least though because those that do not survive are usually those with weak immune systems or are very young or old.
Anyway, since I’m feeling like crap, I think I’ll spend the day at the pool relaxing, catching some rays and studying Japanese. The Sofitel has one of the nicest pools on the 18th floor and the views of the city are fantastic.