The Ruminator

Come on up and grab yourself a beer.

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

If you don't hear from me for a couple of weeks . . .

One good thing about my mixed racial heritage is that I retain, to a greater or lesser degree, a year-round tan. This tends to create the impression that I spend a healthy amount of time outside in the fresh air, which is not always the case.

The drawback is that when I am sick (as I am now), I'm not really setup to go pale. Instead I tend to turn this strange, unappealing yellow colour, faintly tinged with green. This also makes my freckles stand out in startling contrast to my skin. Add the watery eyes and reddened nose of the flu, and you will understand that I do not look my best right now. People at work keep asking me if I am OK and why I am yellow. So far I have resisted the urge to mess with their heads by bursting into tears and accusing them all of being racists.

Being ill is never much fun, but I am particularly unimpressed with the timing of this bout. On Saturday I am going overseas on a work trip. This is problematic for several reasons. Firstly, being ill when you have no choice but to be at work is just tiring and depressing. Secondly, travelling when you are ill sucks, particularly when you travel by plane and are experiencing sinus problems. There is that lovely sensation as the pressure in your sinuses tries to equalise with the cabin pressure, and you think your face is going to explode. Thirdly, I am going to an Asian country, and having the flu when it is 30 degrees outside always feels like you are being cheated somehow.

All of this pales in comparison with the real problem with travelling to an Asian country right now - SARS. I'm not really concerned about getting it (although the mutated, intestine-eating variety sounds pretty alarming) but I have a vision of myself getting hauled aside at an airport and accused of having it. Of course, if they decided to quarantine me in the swanky hotel in which I am going to stay I suppose I could live with that, but somehow I don't think that is how it works. Actually I am more worried about getting quarantined when I come back home.

So you won't hear from me for a week while I am at this conference, but if my absence stretches longer than that you will know I am trapped in a hospital somewhere, like something from a B-grade horror movie. Bring on the zombies!


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