Culinary (mis)Adventure in Ya’an

Filed in Travels

So there I was, telling Judy and Elise over dinner that I don’t eat food from street vendors when I travel. Three hours later, I was writhing in pain, spasm after spasm cramping my stomach. There were moments of ease when I was misled to think it was over, but no, it would be back, on and off, for a few more rounds.

I’ve been eating good so far this trip, joining Annette and Yenis who took the panda keepers to lunch and dinner, depending on who was free for which meal.

Yesterday evening’s dinner was organised by the Pandas International tour group to thank the Wolong Research Centre and Bifengxia Panda Base staff. It was the second dinner I’d had at the same restaurant in two evenings.

I can’t pinpoint which dish caused my discomfort but most of the dishes were spicy, and I’d eaten moderately. Still, I would upchuck not only my dinner but lunch and breakfast, too, later on. I upchucked until there was nothing left to upchuck. Maybe my stomach just needed cleansing.

At one point, I wondered if I needed to go to the hospital. In the end, I didn’t. After all, I’d come prepared with my arsenal of proven Chinese meds. But I had to bypass the first line of defence, the po chai pills, and go straight to the second line, the fok heong jin hei pien, which helped with the upchucking. It helped cuz the upchucking eased the discomfort.

This is the second time I’ve had such serious tummy cramps while travelling. The first time was last month when I visited Guilin for Feng Yi’s birthday. For that upset, I knew exactly the cause – the Hunanese dinner I’d had with the panda team in Guilin.

I’m better now, but will rest today, and unfortunately, miss a day with my giant pandas, and also the opportunity to see the PI tour members sweeping panda poop, and gathering leftover bamboo.

Major :-(