To get out of Dawson’s way while he needed to study, and to see more of China, Josh and I flew to Hangzhou (HANG-joe) and then later to Xi’an (SHE-ahn). Hangzhou is a city that has a scenic lake, and is nearby mountains, I believe.
We got a hotel that was supposed to be right by the lake. We walked to it the first afternoon we arrived and discovered that it was about 2 miles away from the lake. We walked around the lake side area, and it was so nice. There were parks and trees and boats and a lovely dancing fountain display. For the first time in several days I felt like I was breathing in oxygen again (on account of the trees, not on account that it wasn’t smoggy in Hangzhou, unfortunately). Apparently Hangzhou is where Shanghai people go to get away from it all, but if your city is 4 million people, I suppose going to a city with only 1 million seems like the country.
Around the lake there were a number of boats that can take you to see the sights around the lake, and also to the islands in the center of the lake where there are temples and gardens. We planned to come back the next morning and take a boat to the island and enjoy ourselves.
The next morning we had breakfast at the hotel, and came back to our room for a little while because it was raining. When we decided that it wasn’t going to stop and we might as well go to the lake anyway, Josh had to check a few things online, and then I remembered that we hadn’t taken our malaria medicine. We took the pills, which we usually take with our food, but it was about an hour after we had eaten. Just when we were about to leave, I suddenly felt really ill. I felt weak all over and my head felt odd. It came so suddenly I thought maybe my blood sugar was low, so I ate a banana. But the feeling didn’t go away, and then I knew I was going to be sick. I ran into the bathroom and threw up.
It took me a little while to recover. I sat on the bed feeling bad, and watched “You’ve Got Mail” on TV. Eventually I was better and we could go out. We didn’t walk all the way to the lake though, I wasn’t feeling up to that, besides the fact that it was pouring rain still. We found somewhere to eat and visited a few shops and went back to the hotel.
We went to the airport the next morning to go to Xi’an, and I realized again that we needed to take our pills. This time it had only been about a half an hour since we ate. We took the pills and went through all the security and walked around the airport. About 5 minutes before boarding began I suddenly felt horrible again. Josh said that I went deathly white. I knew I was going to be sick again. I went to the bathroom, but I didn’t throw up. I felt a little better, so I came back out to Josh and we went to the plane. After we checked in, and as we were about to walk into the plane boarding tunnel, I felt the urge again. I put my hand over my mouth. I didn’t know whether I should try to get onto the plane to the bathroom, run back out into the terminal to a garbage can, or out of the doorway beside the plane and hurl over the banister onto the ground below. Josh went ahead of me and asked if I could use the nearest bathroom that was beside the plane door. I ran in and immediately fell to my knees and threw up, before the door even closed behind me.
Afterwards the flights attendants were very kind to me. They gave me hot water, and ginger ale, a blanket and a hot cloth. They were very nice to me and kept checking on me. I was just glad that they didn’t quarantine me, with all the H1N1 Flu nonsense. We figured that it had to be the medicine. There was no other explanation for my becoming violently ill the same amount of time after taking it each day. I decided that I was finished taking it. There hadn’t been any mosquitoes in South Africa, and the time had passed already that I needed it for Brazil.