Sunday, November 06, 2005

The Fever, The Wedding, and Hirohito's Revenge

[Well, you can't really call it Montezuma's Revenge, can you? Wrong part of the world!]

I am back from Oita, safe and not so sound. In fact, I'm about 7 pounds lighter than when I left.

I did not go to a diet camp.

I went to a wedding.

Let me explain.

I woke up Thursday morning at 5 A.M., ready to hit the shower, shave, and make the hour-and-a-half drive to the airport.


Hmm? Something's not right here. Body...feels...odd (line to be read in your best William Shatner voice). No, this isn't just because it's five in the morning. Could I be...SICK?

On a day like today?

1) It's a national holiday.
2) I'm flying to Oita for my good buddy Rich's wedding!

I grab my thermometer and check my temperature. 100 degrees. Yep, that would qualify as being sick.

No way am I backing out of going to Rich's wedding, though.

So, I shower, shave, get online and tell my dad that I'm heading out for the weekend, and head for the door.

The whole way to Chitose Airport, I feel wrong. Out of sorts. Ill. I make a pit stop for gas, a pit stop for food ("Vitamin C! Vitamin C! Kill this cold with orange juice!"), and a final stop at the airport parking lot. Off to the airport to check in. Still feeling lousy. Grab some tea and toast. Find the airport pharmacy and explain my symptoms.

"Umm, I have a fever, chills, and an upset stomach. Can you help me?"
"Try this."
"Okay, thanks!"

"This" didn't do much for me. Except maybe cure my chills.

An hour-and-a-half flight to Tokyo. An hour-and-a-half flight to Oita. A forty minute bus ride to Beppu City. This all exists as vague memories (see also: I'm lucky I can remember it at all).

The original plan upon arriving in Beppu was to goof off a bit, visit my friend's family, and check in to my hotel. Scratch that. Too sick to goof off. Friend's mom is sick in the Tokyo. Friend's dad is recovering from a cold. Okaaaaay, new plan. Get food in stomach. Take another pill. Check in to hotel, and sleep.

The food I put into my stomach was, thinking back, probably not the smartest stuff to eat, considering the condition I was in. I had...

...a big bowl of ramen. Greasy goodness, in most cases. Not this one. The hot part was good, but I think it just aggravated my stomach. I think I drank about twelve glasses of water, too. Man, I was thirsty. Then off to the hotel, and to bed.

Basically my movement was confined to the five steps between my bed and my bathroom, except for when I went out for some udon noodles, which was about all I felt I could handle. (A simple bowl of udon works in about the same way as a bowl of chicken soup: hot, nutritious, and easy on the stomach.)

That night, I soaked my sheets and my pillow with sweat.

Yes! I've sweat it out!

Or so I thought.

Friday was pretty much more of the same. I ate some fruit at the breakfast buffet and went back to my room. My temperature had been all over the place and, while there had been a few moments of hope, it didn't seem like it was planning to go down. I get on the phone to Rich, who tells me to head back out to the airport, as he and his fiancee have to pick up a friend of hers out there anyway. He also says, "My friend Rob is here from Kyoto with his wife, who is a pharmacist. We'll get you hooked up with something that'll fix you up."

Shuttle bus to Beppu Station. Walk to the bus center. Buy a ticket. Nearly miss my bus because I'm at the wrong stop. On the bus and back to the airport. Kill time until Rich shows up. Meet Rich's family, and Rob and his family. Try and stomach some more udon, and take some different pills, which, "while they may help with the fever, with your symptoms, you probably should take some antibiotics." (according to the pharmacist). Rich also asked me to translate a letter which would be read to his wife at the reception the following afternoon. "No guarantees on quality, considering the shape I'm in, but I'll do it."

We ended up cruising around most of the day, and I made pit stops every chance I could get. Finally, Rob, his family, and I head back to Rich's place in Nakatsu. We make a stop at a pork cutlet restaurant on the way. I was actually hungry (!), so I ordered a cutlet meal and waited for the food to arrive.

Right about this time, I get a panicked phone call from work.

"We need another judge for our speech contest on the 14th! Do you know anybody?"

Let's assess the situation. I'm sick, on the other side of the country, and have only lived in Muroran for two and a half months. Do I know anybody? Not the right time, place, nor physical condition for crisis management! I calmly explain that the only person I know of will still have to be contacted at work ON MONDAY whatever the situation, but I WILL take care of it, so let's remain calm, okay? I think I exercised admirable control, considering that I wanted to say "Piss off! I'm sick!" and hang up.

Crisis managed. And here comes dinner! What impeccable timing!

I ate about three slices of pork cutlet, and then nearly went into shock from the grease. I fought off the nausea, but by that time, my face had turned about fifteen shades of green before turning white, so I had to lie down at an empty table and fight off the dizziness. I had no idea that it would be a pork cutlet that finished me off.

Back to Rich's, where I alternated between the bed on the second floor and the bathroom on the first for the entire night. When I woke up at 5:30 AM with about an hour before we had to get ready to leave, I translated the letter as best as I could.

Shower, shave, get dressed up in my zoot suit, and we were out the door. The first good news of the day? No more fever. Then off to Rich's fiancee's house, so I could get her car and pick up Rich's parents at their hotel. Then we were all off to Usa Grand Shrine!

Rich took me to Usa Grand Shrine back when I was attending Shimane University as an exchange student in 1998-99. It is a huge Shinto shrine with two major buildings and several other small shrines around the extensive grounds. Peaceful, beautiful, and an amazing place to have a Shinto wedding ceremony. I'm sure I would have appreciated it more, but my internal workings were not giving me much leeway to get a good feel for it.

But I gotta say, when we pulled up, and Rich and Kuniko were there at the foot of the steps leading up to the shrine, dressed up in their traditional Japanese wedding kimonos, I got a big smile on my face.

"Rich, congratulations."

Part 2 of the story next post.


Blogger Kelle said...

I got sink in Japan during my visit. I can't eat corn and I had some soup with corn in it by mistake. But the pharmacist gave me some magical stuff that worked like a charm. Till this day, I still don't know what it is.

We're getting married in Muroran in August. We are coming over to play at a Muroran Jazz Cruise.

Thursday, July 03, 2008 2:08:00 AM  

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