Sunday, August 27, 2006

Sunday Scribblings: The Monster

Around 3:00 this morning the monster in my stomach made himself known through a not-so-subtle manipulation of the dream I was having. I'll spare you the details, but one minute I was playing the guitar in a trailer on a movie set and the next it became very, very clear that I had to get myself to a toilet right away. Ugh.

I think the monster was created by a bottle of litchi juice that I drank during the jewelry fair yesterday afternoon. I'd walked across the street to a convenience store to get something to drink. I browsed the selection of beverages in the cooler and decided to be daring, to support local industry instead of buying some juice imported from South Africa or a sugary soda. So I grabbed a bottle of Top Juice, Mozambique's attempt at a juice industry. It looked harmless enough - the bottle was plastic and had an actual printed label, the lid was sealed and the whole thing was refrigerated properly.

Boy was I wrong! I don't know at what point the litchi took a turn for the worse, but I have no doubt that I imbibed a bacteria-laden drink. I mean it tasted okay, but I knew something was definitely off when I started experiencing stomach pains while packing up my jewelry a few hours later. I had a meeting with the IFC last night (yes, a meeting on Sunday evening, ah the good life of a consultant) and could feel the monster gaining strength and manifesting his foul mood. I wondered if the project officer sitting across the table could actually hear the grumbles of my gut...

The monster finally had enough early this morning when I had my first run to the toilet. He's continued to remind me of his presence at regular intervals thereafter, and I am currently sipping a cup of pomegranate tea with pinches of salt and sugar to maintain myself hydrated.

I'm sure the monster is having a good laugh because not only has he caused me to be ill, he's managed to set my bowels into protest on the worst day possible. I have a huge presentation to deliver this afternoon at the IFC on behalf of our client that has a transport business. It is the public announcement of his expansion plans, and I will be presenting to the directors of his company, his main clients (some of the largest multinational projects in Mozambique), and several government stakeholders from the Ministry of Transport and Communication. I am trying to make peace with the monster in my stomach so that I don't have to excuse myself and make a mad dash to the toilet in the middle of my Power Point.

12 comments:

Safiya said...

Ooh nasty! "A monster in my stomach" is a good way of describing it though.

The first part of your dream, where you're playing guitar in a trailer sounds cool.

paris parfait said...

Stomach monsters are the worst! I have encountered them on more than one occasion in places w/ dubious hygiene around the world. Even at the best of times, I have an extremely sensitive stomach, so I can identify with your discomfort. Hope the meeting goes well and the monster subsides well before that time!

Ali la Loca said...

~Safiya - Yeah, it seemed quite fitting that the Sunday Scribblings prompt was "Monster". And the dream was cool, especially since I don't know how to play the guitar.

~Paris Parfait - I usually have a stomach of steel and am able to eat street food and all sorts of dubious things without getting in trouble. So this litchi juice must have been *really* bad to make me sick. I hope I'm well in time for the meeting, too!

kanuthya said...

I'm emetophobic, so I avoid almost anything suspicious (yeah, I know, it's ridiculous and you can't really control these things ), but anyway, your tea is a good idea, although the funny thing is that every time anyone in my immediate family (all African but my brother) were sick, we always had a black tea from...Mozambique! It's the Licungo tea, I think that's the name, it absolutely does wonders for digestive problems, it works as a kind of home made IV serum. Now please don't tell me all the Licungo tea is exported and you can't find it there :(

Ali la Loca said...

~Kanuthya - I've learned a new word from you today: emetophobic. I've also learned about a new product - the Licungo tea. Strangely all of the people I've asked here have never heard of it. Maybe it has a different name here, or perhaps people know it by the name in "dialeto", although Licungo already sounds like it's in a local language...

I'll have to do some more investigating. It's certainly not something that is packaged and sold here, though, at least not that I've ever come across.

Monkey McWearingChaps said...

Ali, if you have ginger boil your chai with it. It's a well-known herbal cure for upset stomachs.

Ali la Loca said...

~Monkey - I just happen to have some ginger! I'm going to boil a cup before I go to bed.

Monkey McWearingChaps said...

You could also just chew on it. It's the juice that's good for upset tummies but I prefer mine in the tea.

DJPare said...

Yikes! Nasty monster!

The pomegranite tea sounds good though...

kanuthya said...

Damn! If i was sure you would receive it, I could easily send you some packs of Licungo, since I'll be travelling again soon to Portugal, where I can easily find it. it's funny that the packs have been the same for as long as anyone can remember, they have a vintage design about them :)Maybe it's one of those products for export only.
Anyway, you can replace Licungo with a regular black tea, I suppose. Hope you're feeling better!

Ali la Loca said...

~DjPare - Yeah, the tea was a nice solution to keep myself hydrated.

~Kanuthya - I wish so much that I could receive things by mail!! Maybe you can take a photo of what the box looks like so I can show it to people here and see if they recognize the product.

I had some chai tea with ginger this morning and it seemed to help a bit. Still not 100%, though...

Claudia Bettencourt said...

http://arquivoblasfemias10.wordpress.com/2005/02/06/icones-do-consumo-1/

Hello, while I was searching for Li-cungo tea in the net, I came across your blog...unfortunately, it's not easy now to find this wonderful tea in Portugal, actually I can't find it anywhere...anyway, in case you still are interested, I found this blog which has an image of the tea box I miss so much...