A Voice-less Robot

Tuesday was a mess. Dina was kind enough to tell me I looked lovely when we met up for a quick lunch, but I sure didn’t feel it. I had woken up late for an interview at a foreign embassy, with no time to wash my face or brush my hair I felt greasy and gross and I put my tights on twisted inside out. At least I looked halfway decent.

I was too excited too soon about the crying girl’s progress. I went to her house for a class on Tuesday and she was very angry to see me, and yelled at her mom, and pitched a fit, and refused to study for her test. Things she had done well the class before she refused to even try. We ended up talking about Chinese picture books in English and at one point, I started talking about Hector to coax her out of her sobbing, she perked up at the mention of a kitten, and reached under her desk and pulled out a little hamster by its leg and flung it at me. Poor creature, it had this anxious and frenetic chitter every time her hand approached it. It probably leads a miserable existence. It was a stressful hour and I left with a headache and ended up eating almost an entire box of Laughing Cow cheese cubes on the bus home because I am the fattest and I eat my emotions. Ugh.

Once at home I made a nice healthy pasta and pesto to last a few days.
Shaved two zucchinis with a vegetable peeler and julienned them to toss in with the pasta. Blended up a package of basil with 4 cloves of garlic, 1/4 cup grated parmesan, 1/4 cup pine nuts and the zest of two lemons then mixed in 1/3 cup of olive oil with a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss pasta with less pesto than you think because its quite powerful.

Zucchini and Pesto Pasta

Thursday was a pretty good day. despite the fact that I overslept again, it was beautiful out, I felt great, I even made it to work on time. They’re starting to give me real work to do, which is interesting and daunting at the same time (I fear they may be overestimating my ‘expertise’ of economic and Chinese) and the interns all went to lunch at a Korean place for bibimbap. I got chicken with egg, it was pretty tasty.

BiBimBap from Bahn30

I baked a honey cake last night and brought some in, everyone seemed to enjoy it. Since I had so much of it, during tutoring with Peach I offered some to her and her mother. Peach was ecstatic (but then again, the 3 year old is ecstatic about everything but drawing). We went on the same elevator down after class, and Peach’s mom insisted on giving me a ride to my friend’s house.

We walked out of the building and a slick, shiny black Audi rolled up, and I got inside, and it was shiny and bright and comfortable, redolent with that new car smell. Peach’s mom directed the driver. Peach chattered away cheerfully about everything she saw. They dropped me off at my friend’s apartment. She lives with her family here-they have an apartment four times bigger than mine, with gorgeous view of the city, and an excellent chef. The other dinner guest talked about how his dad was in oil, his mom was a housewife. My friend’s parents are quite affluent. They tossed back acquaintances’ names to see who knew who from what industry and in what country. After a while, my friend’s mom remember me, turned my way and asked “so, where are your parents based?” I never thought I’d feel poor saying that my dad is a general contractor or my mom is an engineer, that they live in a small New England town and don’t have to fly out to Azerbaijan or Dubai or Libya or Russia or wherever.

Dinner was lovely, everyone enjoyed the cake, although my contribution was upstaged by the other guest, who made peanut putter mousse filled cream puffs drizzled with caramel. Well, some of us are students who have a lot of time on our hands, and some of us are poor, starving interns with two part time jobs. Afterwards, I felt drained and could barely summon the energy to go home and play with Hector. I fell asleep with his mouse toy in my hand, and was grumpily woken up when the boys came home, rowdy after an evening at Kro’s trivia, around midnight.

Either the exhaustion was because I was getting sick, or I was so exhausted my body decided to crap out on me, because all yesterday my brain was in a fog and I could feel the sickness waiting to descend. I cut my tutoring short, but by the time I got home I was feeling miserable and couldn’t tempt myself to eat anything besides some chicken stock with a little rice in it. I went to sleep early, planning on waking up at 5:30 for China Nationals, our Frisbee tournament. I woke up, could barely move or breathe. Just before 6:30, when the B team was supposed to meet up to cab to the fields, I called in, and couldn’t make sounds come out of my mouth. I croaked my excuses and apologies and went back to sleep.

I still can’t talk or swallow without pain, and I still don’t want to eat anything, which should be a huge sign that something is wrong with me. I’ve drunk copious amounts of ginger, garlic, lemon and honey steeped in hot water, and coaxed down some more soup. There are so many things I could do with my now-free day to be useful, but all I want to do is sleep and get better. I managed to gasp words loudly enough into the phone to order two barrels of water, but that effort caused a paroxysm of coughing and a search for chloraseptic spray.


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