« PedantryThirsty Seamus Heaney »
10.25.2002

Inoculated

We went today up to Burlington to get a whole bunch of shots for our impending trip to China. I got two shots in each arm, one each for flu, typhoid, and hepatitis, while tetanus and diptheria shared a syringe like gentlemen. Fifteen minutes in the doctor's office cost me $72, and the same for the better half, although we were in there together. All together, the shots came to half the price of the airplane ticket. There is something deeply wrong with that.

For my money and my pains I got the four shots and a thick sheaf of papers describing the dangers I will face in China. Assuming the painful traveller's diarrhea ever abates enough for me to leave my hotel, I am liable to have my pocket picked, my Bible confiscated, be sold fruit juice that has been diluted with infectious tap water, receive counterfeit change from my taxi driver, be enticed into following a young woman to a secluded location where her accomplices will beat me senseless ( no doubt stealing the counterfeit change ) and have parasitic larvae burrow into my skin as I lie unconscious in the mud.

It's amazing that a billion people manage to survive over there, and even find time to have a civilization. I would very much like to see the packet Chinese travellers get when they come visit us. I wonder how how much they have to pay for their shots.

« PedantryThirsty Seamus Heaney »
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