Three days of eating the internals of various creatures had left my
poor Brahmin stomach in a state of turmoil. And this turmoil had
spread to various parts of my body – affecting my sleep, my dreams
and my mood. I looked and felt like a graveyard. A Pet Cemetery. A
walking encyclopedia of a duck’s Anatomy.

Especially that morning when I was to be picked up by an unnamed
Chinese colleague for some sightseeing in Beijing. As I gazed blankly at
my reflection in the mirror – I realized I didn’t remember that I had
slept. I certainly didn’t feel like I had slept. My head was spinning, my
eyes were bloodshot, my ears had this disorienting buzz from my wake
up call and I was bathed in cold sweat. And all I had to drink last night
was coke. (Maybe Chinese coke is different.) I put down the cover of
the toilet and sat down on it, buried my head in my hands and tried to
bring the spiraling to a stop.

It didn’t help.

I realized I needed a shower. And a coffee. And Gin Seng. So I
stumbled to the water cooker, switched it on, then stumbled back to
the bathroom, maneuvered myself into the tub and turned the shower
knob in the direction of “hot”. Of course my sense of left and right had
temporarily deserted me – and the result was a stinging jet of ice cold
water biting my unsuspecting epidermis like a thousand hungry
Piranhas. My spinal cord jumped into action (the human body is
amazing) and I leapt back with reflexes that completely disregarded
my current mental and physical state. Unfortunately they also
disregarded basic laws of Physics and I had to wildly grab at the
shower curtain.

Shower curtains though appear to be sturdy when subjected to gentle
tugs – are really not meant to decelerate falling bodies. With a Chinese
“ping” one of the curtain rings came off and the others starting
following like sheep. But by that time I had steadied myself and
managed to shift my weight to my by-now-very-awake legs. The
shower curtain was hanging limply on one side akin to the affects of
too much alcohol. I hope the hotel doesn’t charge me for this.
In all this chaotic activity I had completely forgotten about the icecold
water raining down on me – and I suddenly realized that I was as
awake as I ever have been! Cold water was just what Confucius
ordered. I felt as if some crazy Chinese hack had injected me with
dollops of Tai Chi. I felt as if I could scale the walls of the Forbidden
City. I felt I could run the entire length of The Great wall. I felt I could
fight the armies of Genghis Khan. And suddenly when the adrenalin
levels returned to normal I felt like an icicle. I immediately turned the
lever down again and stood there shivering, trying to regain my

After completing the rest of the bath with relative uneventful ness I
got ready for my impending oriental adventure. We were to visit “The
Forbidden City” – which is the ancient center of Beijing. The name
sounded so exciting. To be continued…