Managing Your Plague in China: Brief Notes on my Stupid Cold

So I finally made it in to work today, after two days spent under cover, barking my lungs out at home, destroying entire forests with my nasal detritus.

I packed a little baggie with 2 boiled eggs and 2 small oranges (plus a massive coffee) to meet my most basic nutritional needs and dulled appetite. Aside from cookies and beer, I’ve craved no actual food since sometime around Saturday. Marvellous for my waistline but not so great for my general well-being.


Mmmmm lunch.


Eggs and oranges are good, right? Protein, vitamins, etc, etc. Plague food.

Apparently not.

My colleague, the lovely Victor (not his real name, since he’s Chinese), recoiled in horror at the sight of my two innocent little boiled eggs.

“Not with your illness!” he declared. “Do NOT eat eggs when you have a cold!”

“No eggs?” I meekly asked. “Why no eggs?”

“In university, I study to be doctor. When you are cold, you must not eat eggs!”

So now you know.

Apples, apparently, are fine. Also, flower teas.

Victor handed me a sachet of tea mix from his hometown in Ningxia, far, far away.  I should brew it up to three times using the same bark and twigs. It would help.

For the record, those large crystallized lumps on the right of the jujubes and beige golf ball are rock sugar, not crack cocaine or bath salts.

A pity, really.


I have yet to identify that beige golfball in the centre. Anyone know?


So I brewed some up.


Steeped. Yes, those are sesame seeds floating amongst the goji and golfballs.


Victor was the one who also ran out on Monday night during my class with the kids to buy me medicine. I am now the proud owner of some very effective cough syrup that tastes like mildly caramelised burnt twigs and some rather miraculous cold pills that turn all phlegmy crud in your body into easily disposed of solid crud.

If you’re ever sick with a cold and/or cough in China, flash this picture at the pharmacist.


For further Sino healthcare needs, check out the Mrs Mu Home Shopping Network.



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About MaryAnne

I live in Hanoi. I used to live in Shanghai (hence this blog's title) but I left in 2013. I tend to travel. I cook stuff. I read a lot. I try to scare myself silly with regularity. I write about it all. A lot.