I’m have three days left in Maryland and am getting swamped with things that need to get done. Most urgently, I am driving about two hours today to pick up my computer which was just de-virused by an incredibly helpful St. Mary’s College tech guy. Fun times. I’ve also started to get my stuff ready to go. I’m trying to pack fairly light this time around especially with regards to clothes. I am absolutely terrified of reaching the airport and being ordered to dump stuff out of my backpack. So outside of a few clothes, my computer, camera, and ipod, I’m devoting most of my space to books. I seriously doubt that Western Yunnan has much in the way of English language book stores, and I can really tear through books when I don’t have internet. Here is what I have lined up so far:
The Quiet American, Graham Greene
All the Pretty Horses, Cormac McCarthy
Demain, Herman Hesse
Wolf Totem, Jiang Rong
I have about ten other novels that I’m debating over and trying to squeeze into my backpack, plus a biography of Alexander the Great and a history of China’s Foreign Relations. Useful?
But arguing over books is just a distraction from the really scary problem I’ve been dealing with for the past few days: Japanese Encephalitis. Specifically, the Japanese Encephalitis vaccine that I should have gotten but didn’t. If you know me, you probably know that I tend to procrastinate and create unnecessary problems for myself. Well here we are. Japanese Encephalitis is a disease that spreads through mosquitoes and occasionally breaks out in Southern China. It kills about 25% of the people it infects and has no cure. Up until a few days ago, I assumed that I could get the shot in Beijing and be done with it. I didn’t realize that 1) immunization requires two doses over a month and 2) there is currently a vaccine shortage.
But not to worry. We are improvising. I am getting the first dose tomorrow, and then bring the second dose with me to Beijing. Unfortunately, this requires that I purchase a cooler, pack it with ice, and keep the vaccine chilled until a can find an appropriate storage location in Beijing. The comes with the added benefit of allowing me to pretend I am part of a heart transplant team on the way to China, but could get seriously annoying. If you live in Beijing and have refrigerator space for the next three weeks please let me know. Seriously.