Stranger in a Strange Land
Tales of a Year Abroad

Sick... sort of.

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A nagging ear-ache (more of a squish and an itchy sensations, really) necessitated a trip to the ENT (Ear Nose Throat doctor) today. This, of course, comes after a day of, shall we say, less then comfortable adventures of the intestinal nature. Suffice to say, I have a tender stomach and... lets just leave it at that.

The doctor's visit was very much unlike the last time I visited a doctor in India. That particular visit, I was essentially called a dirty American (this from a doctor in a country where people bathe in buckets full of water that potentially comes from water sources infected with all sorts of fun and nasty bugs), had a boil on my bottom painfully lanced and cleansed, and received shots--twice a day, one in the left arm in the morning, one in the right in the evening. This time, the doctor asked some questions, peeked in my ear with that triangular light instrument, put a tuning fork on various parts of my skull, etc. Pretty standard. He then informed me that I had wax on my right ear drum (I was just thankful it was wax and not a bug--I'd been having some anxiety that the squishy sound and itchy feeling might be produced by a bug tunneling about in my ear canal--thank you Grandpa for THAT nightmare!) and that I should take some drops four times a day and come back to see him next Monday.  Fabulous--except for the drops part. I hate drops. 

So after not paying (apparently we do that next time?) off to the pharmacist we went, purchased the drops (a whopping 42 Rs--about $1. Not even, about $0.95). This is what he gave me:

So you're going, "okay, looks pretty standard." Turn the box over to see....

Take a look at the THIRD ingredient. That's right, folks, it's TURPENTINE... as in "used to thin and/or remove paint" turpentine (okay--in all reality, probably not, but still...).

I better have the cleanest ears every after this ("this" being drops 4 times a day, for the next week).

Oh no.. please don't have ear problems while you are there... did you not equip yourself for ear issues?

Wait, forget the turpentine...does that say for external use only?? Aren't you dropping it IN your ear? Wouldn't that be then INternal??

lol, poor you. Keep your chin up and try not to think about how hamlet's father was offed while Steve is pouring this stuff in your ears ;) ;p

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The land of dreams and romance, of fabulous wealth and fabulous poverty, of splendour and rags, of palaces and hovels, of famine and pestilence, of genii and giants and Alladin lamps, of tigers and elephants, the cobra and the jungle, the country of hundred nations and a hundred tongues, of a thousand religions and two million gods, cradle of the human race, birthplace of human speech, mother of history, grandmother of legend, great-grandmother of traditions, whose yesterday's bear date with the modering antiquities for the rest of nations-the one sole country under the sun that is endowed with an imperishable interest for alien prince and alien peasant, for lettered and ignorant, wise and fool, rich and poor, bond and free, the one land that all men desire to see, and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for the shows of all the rest of the world combined.
- Mark Twain

In India, I found a race of mortals living upon the Earth, but not adhering to it, inhabiting cities, but not being fixed to them, possessing everything, but possessed by nothing.
- Appolonius Tyanaeus

If there is one place on the face of earth where all the dreams of living men have found a home from the very earliest days when man began the dream of existence, it is India.
-Romain Rolland