Thursday, February 21, 2008

Signatures from natural beings

A dear friend forwarded me a writing that relates the characteristics of fruits and vegetables with internal organs of the body. It writes about how the shape, color, composure of the fruits or vegetables relate to their targeting organs and help nourish the organs’ functions.

“The Doctrine of Signatures”, as how we call it these days, is our ancestors’ observation and experience of how fruits and vegetables work in our body. Many traditional medicines around the world believe and take this idea into consideration when prescribing herbal diets.

取象比类 (Qu Xiang Bi Lei: Take-Impression-Compare-Category): Categorizing various impressions of natural living things is one of the fundamental theories of traditional Chinese medicine. The impressions take on the form of shape, composure, cognitive recognition, color of natural living beings. These impressions are then categorized and compared to deduce a certain way of mapping or working among them. In Chinese, it’s called 取象比类 (Qu Xiang Bi Lei: Take-Impression-Compare-Category). This theory is one of the ways how our ancestors came to understand which organs and how fruits and vegetables work on our body.

The writing is from the hand of David Bjerklie, a senior reporter of TIME. Since the email comes with nice and convincing pictures, I figure I’m just going to post it here:

David Bjerklie, TIME Magazine, Oct. 2003

A stupendous insight of civilizations past has now been confirmed by today’s investigative, nutritional sciences. They have shown that what was once called “The Doctrine of Signatures” was astoundingly correct. It now contends that every whole food has a pattern that resembles a body organ or physiological function and that this pattern acts as a signal or sign as to the benefit the food provides the eater. Here is just a short list of examples of Whole Food Signatures.

A sliced Carrot looks like the human eye. The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye…and science shows that carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes.

A Tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart is red and has four chambers. All of the research shows tomatoes are indeed pure heart and blood food.

Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell and all of the research today shows that grapes are also profound heart and blood vitalizing food.

A Walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds are on the nut just like the neo-cortex. We now know that walnuts help develop over 3 dozen neuron-transmitters for brain function.

Kidney Beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes, they look exactly like the human kidneys.

Celery, Bok Choy, Rhubarb and more look just like bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23% sodium and these foods are 23% sodium. If you don’t have enough sodium in your diet the body pulls it from the bones, making them weak. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.

Eggplant, Avocadoes and Pears target the health and function of the womb and cervix of the female - they look just like these organs. Today’s research shows that when a woman eats 1 avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight and prevents cervical cancers. And how profound is this? …. It takes exactly 9 months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit. There are over 14,000 photolytic chemical constituents of nutrition in each one of these foods (modern science has only studied and named about 141 of them).

Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow. Figs increase the motility of male sperm and increase the numbers of sperm as well to overcome male sterility.

Sweet Potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics.

Olives assist the health and function of the ovaries.

Grapefruits, Oranges, and other citrus fruits look just like the mammary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.

Onions look like body cells. Today’s research shows that onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells They even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes.

“The news isn’t that fruits and vegetables are good for you, it’s that they are so good for you, they can save your life.”

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Chicken essence and its contraindications

Much has been said about the benefit of consuming chicken essence, I thought I would shed some light on some contraindications (Cases it shouldn’t be taken):

High cholesterol: People who have high cholesterol especially the bad guy (LDL, Low-density lipoprotein) should refrain from taking chicken essence. Chicken essence will raise the formation of cholesterol. With higher amount of cholesterol in the blood stream, they will be deposited on the inner vessel walls, making artery ‘hardened’. The artery wall becomes thickened and looses its elasticity, posing conditions such as atherosclerosis and coronary atherosclerotic heart disease.

High blood pressure or Hypertension: Chicken essence can raise blood pressure. Chronic high blood pressure leads to secondary heart related diseases such as myocardial thickening (thickening of heart muscles) and enlarged heart.

Renal function: Chicken essence contains a few small molecular proteins. They can be burden for patients with acute nephritis, chronic or acute functional renal failure and uremia. Because of inferior renal function, kidney system is not able to manage the byproducts of these proteins, which may further lead to renal azotemia, worsening the conditions.

Gastric acidity: Chicken soup/essence has a remarkable effect on stimulating gastric acid. People with gastric ulcer, hyper gastric acidity and upper gastrointestinal bleeding may be affected by taking chicken essence.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Bali trip day 4

Day 4:

Early morning I was eager to get up to meet up with Billy. Louise and I headed to the Lobby to wait for Billy. Then I got this sms. It was from Billy saying he was on the way and probably would reach here at 8:45am. He hoped it was not too early. I was a little puzzled as it was 9:05am when I got this sms. He could have gotten caught in the traffic, I reckoned. Then another sms got in. It's Billy too. He said he just realized his first sms was delayed and was waiting for me to alert him if I had gotten up from bed. So I called this guy and assured him we were up and running for breakfast.

He sure is a busy businessman. I saw this guy coming in and talking in his phone. He looked familiar but I wasn't too sure. And this man seemed a bit 'big' in size. Ha. While talking on the phone, he gestured to me 'John?' silently and I did the same thing 'Billy?" The two of us are equally good in reading lips. No kidding. Good enough to spy anyone talking from a distance.

Billy definitely changed a lot, from a boy to a man and with career flying high, a man with confidence and responsibility. The big warm smile and sense of humor were the same.

I introduced Billy to Louise and we sat down for breakfast. I, having to wait for 30 minutes, was already quite hungry and therefore waited no time to get something to eat. Billy had probably taken something 'cause he only asked for coffee. It's definitely a happy feeling to see Billy again to know the changes we have gone through. Both of us have certainly changed a little in the past 13 years. Oh, he mentioned Wooi Kheong. I wonder too how this guy is doing. Should do some searching to look for this guy.

The three of us talked about how he didn't want to go to USA to study and how his parents tricked him into visiting Berry in USA before making any decision, things about the sunglasses industry as Louise is also involved in sunglasses, though of different categories and about his plan to move to Jakarta for a new company he just joined…

He blamed me for not letting him know in advance about my visit and threatened me to do so next time as he loves to be troubled and bothered when friends visit him. Sure, I said, not knowing when I would visit Indonesia again.

Time passed so fast and we were gently reminded the breakfast was about to be over and the bar was putting things away. We said goodbye to each other and Louise and I invited Billy to come to Kuala Lumpur for Formula 1 competition in March. Then again, the Singaporean night match in September seems to be more appealing.

We then went back to hotel room to pack things up for the flight back home. At 1pm we checked out and had our stuff left at storage. We took the shuttle bus provided by Bali Collection to head to Nusa Dua. We were told Nusa Dua is a very exclusive neighborhood with 5-star hotels and convention facilities. I noticed also a talk on global energy was going on then. The impression we had was right. Nusa Dua is quiet, exclusive and I suppose, more expensive too. The landscaping is of different class with broader roads and deeper depth of view. All these are giving the place a unique feel unlike any other places. And the beach we saw had fewer people.

Part of the Bali Collection is owned by Sogo retails and it feels exclusive, especially when all other players are of smaller ones. Entering the compound needs tight security checking, quite similar to custom checking. Certain places set up security checks to deter terrorists, I suppose. And it must have gotten tightened up because of Legian/Kuta bombing in October 2002, Bali.

Flight back home was uneventful except people didn't seem to bother with proper queuing at the boarding room. Since AirAsia uses free seating for all the tickets, people are usually lining up much earlier before the gates open for boarding, just to make sure to get better seats. And some just care less about civilized rules. Things like this happen everywhere, some less, some more. We can't be bothered too much but it certainly poses a nuisance.

In Conclusion:

Louise and I enjoyed the trip very much. People we've met are warm and friendly. Smile is a culture in Bali. People who have forgotten how to smile should come to Bali to relearn the art of smiling. Louise and I did a few things together for the first time, memory of which will certainly be with us for a long long time. And meeting Billy again for such a long time brings great feeling. It’s always comforting to know someone you know is doing well, happy and healthy.

Bali trip day 3

Day 3:

Paying a visit to Billy (Berry’s brother, we met in the winter of 1993 in Ames, Iowa, USA) had always been part of the plan for this trip. And I didn't want to interrupt nor trouble him at all. The address I got from Berry, which I thought was Billy's office, turned out to be his house address. So the surprise visit to his office during office hours didn't work out well. We ended up at the front gate of his residential area and he wasn't in! This was what happened in the morning on the third day. Who to blame? I'll say Berry and I had miscommunication, which is hard to believe as we both speak and write good English! (Are you sure about that?) Anyway, Billy on the phone sounded surprise (That was my intention, this went alright) but could vaguely remember who he was talking to. Well, 13 or 14 years is a long time. I don't blame him for not remembering me. The cold snow blizzard in Chicago and a near mugging experience at a restaurant hopefully bring back some not-so-sweet memory. By the way, it was Berry's fault of not organizing a better trip to Chicago or Minneapolis, not mine. Billy must remember this and not pin the blame on me. :@)

So there we were, two honorable guests from Malaysia, who flew to Bali to give a pleasant surprise to a long lost friend, were turned cold down by a young business-minded hotshot friend (Enjoying too much being sarcastic!).

Fine. I told myself. Kerobokan is well known for handicraft works. We can live with that. But Kuta seems more attractive with her happening setup and surfing beaches. So we told our nice cab driver Gede to head to Kuta and leave this sad sad sad place of Kerobokan. (Ha!) And it turned out to be not-too-bad a choice. Kuta has many streets where if you venture in you'll find lots of artistic pieces for decoration and drawings. Shopping was fun but exhausting. Before long, Louise and I felt the humid heat and we had to fall back to a shaded shopping complex called Matahari. It turned out this Matahari (the Sun) shopping mall is first class in Kuta. We were delighted to see plenty of souvenirs suitable for friends and family and got what we wanted. We also went to the beaches and had to say it's full of people, in big contrast to area like Nusa Dua and Benoa. Again, the people and the heat proved too much for us. Soon we found ourselves heading back home (Home was where hotel room was then).

The spa appointment was at 7pm. It was a retreat Louise wanted us to try. I've never done a spa before and thought it shouldn't be bad at all. Indeed the experience was comfortable and relaxing. First we had our feet soaked and cleaned with foot bath. My spa lady was Eka, a young lady with warm smile and beautiful eyes (This would make Louise very watchful). The scrub was gentle and it took some tension off the feet. Then we lay on the massage bed and had tingling aloe vera gel rubbed on us. I was told it helped to ease the sun burn. But the cold gel was quite sensational coupled with the cold air-conditioning. She put the gel all over my body, hands and legs and wrapped me up with thick blanket. It felt better, less cold. But I felt like a mummy in making. I turned over to Louise and she was shivering in cold, so was I. Next, Eka told me to relax my facial muscle and put some other creams on my face. Okay, I thought. And two pieces of cold pads covered my eyes too. If the idea is to be pampered, it sure felt like it.

30 minutes passed and Eka and her other colleague unwrapped us. It's time to wash the gels off. The next procedure was to enjoy relaxing bath tub together. We even took a picture together in the bath tub! Ha! And too bad the bath tub was not equipped with Jacuzzi function, according to Louise. 15 minutes or so we were ready to move on to massage.

The massage, as I recalled, was good and relaxing. It was all 'passive' one if we are to compare it with the traditional Thai massage. Thai massage is 'active' in the sense the body would move and joints bent for flexing purpose. But this Balinese massage wasn't anything like that. It was different and I must say I prefer the latter.

With a nice spa, sleep turned out to be really easy.

Bali trip day 2

Today is the 5th day of Chinese new year (CNY). Three days of CNY posed to be a good one with family gathering and reunion on the last day of last year. Members of the family these days rarely see other often due to work and own commitments. Festive seasons then help to reunite us together.

Let me continue with my Bali trip...

Day 2:

Breakfast time! It's served in an area coolly named Bar Nanas (Pineapple Bar) behind the front desk and reception area. Foods are decent with different categories catering for major needs. There were cereals, grains and fruit based yogurts for seed eaters; hams and hotdogs for the meat eaters, plain porridge spiced with salted vegetables for stomach-qi lovers; omelets, bull eggs for egg eaters; pancakes with banana and chocolate cream; various soups with chicken, beef and so on. The distinctions among Halal, vegetarian food and others are not obvious. Die hard religious people may find it a little difficult to eat properly. But then that's the beauty of mixing things together, you have to know what food they are to choose your own needs. I have to say I enjoyed all of them very much (the non-meat categories).

I want to mention one more thing about the breakfast provided by the hotel. I miss it very much. Yesterday morning and this morning I woke up asking Louise if we were going to have breakfast like that here in our neighborhood. The answer was no. It's not that such breakfast isn't available here in Kuala Lumpur, It's just that the mood is not the same and at home we have to hurry to get to work in the morning. The vacation mood is no longer there. And the stress from commuting and work is back.

Vacation is vacation. And work is work. Can we blend them in? Ha!

The first tour on the 2nd day was to play with water activities including snorkeling, parasailing, banana boat, Jet Ski, and a visit to Turtle Island. Snorkeling is relatively new to Louise as she doesn't swim, and is scared to water. On the first day we swam a little and I taught her technique to breathe with mouth and how to balance the pressure of outer ears with sneezing and saliva swallowing. The fear of water must be eradicated to really enjoy the free support of water. She started a little clumsy but then was able to pick up fast. The snorkeling area chosen was not a good spot. The water quality is less than that of Kapas island, Redang island and Langkawi island. I think it's just the spot we swam in. I'm sure there are some other nicer spots to do diving and snorkeling in Bali.

An hour and a half passed by and Louise, doing her snorkeling the first time, went exhausted. And the time was almost up for this activity and we carried on to sailing to Turtle Island. Turtle Island, to the north of Tanjung Benoa, is a place (Government owned?) where activists are trying to conserve Greenback Turtles and the likes. Some wild life animals are bred there and it's open for public to learn more about them. We had simple lunch there before we moved on to another beach for water activities.

As exciting as they can be, water activities are always so much fun. First we did Jet Ski. My Jet Ski couch, who sat behind, was a real pro. He let me play a while with my pathetic slow speed and unadventurous turns. Toward the end of the sport, roughly about 10 minutes, he showed me what I felt like Formula 1 driving on the sea (Not that I've tried the real F1 car though)! It was fast and rough and making sharp U turns, creating vortex on the sea! Super high and cloud nine! Sometime a rough wave came and hit us I swear I was scared to death I'd be thrown out into the air and land flat of my tummy! And worse, be torn into a few pieces!! After we reached the shore, I asked him if he joined international Jet Ski competition. He said no. I told him he should have. What a shame talents go untapped.

There are in many of us good talents, what people need is a chance to prove.

Another fun sport is parasailing. I took so many pictures of Louise doing parasailing and the adrenalin was always running high. It may not be as free as parachuting; it's close to being like a bird as it gives us a nice bird eye view of the place. Sometimes with so much excitement and anticipation it's harder to learn anything: One of the helpers asked us to identify the flags on the ground; if he raises blue flag, we will then pull the right rope close to our body with our right hand, gloved with blue glove. And vice versa, if he raises red flag, we'll then pull the left rope with our left hand, gloved with red glove. This process is supposed to help us land properly and steadily, with the flags as guidance. At first, the two of us were puzzled. You know, when you're too excited you don't learn new tricks (No matter how simple the tricks are). Only after a while we reasoned that out and we all burst into laughter, embarrassed obviously by our stupidity and nervousness. Ha! But I wonder how the colorblind could work that out.

The view and the feeling was magnificent. I managed to take 3 shots in the air with the digital camera strapped to my right arm. Like all good things, soon the speed boat made a turn and set me back on course to landing. Looking down the blue flag was raised and thus I pulled the right rope as close as possible to my body. Suddenly I heard them say: "Lepas! Lepas!", which means to let go of the rope and thus I obeyed so without questions. And there I was a perfect landing.

Happy hours fly by just so fast. The banana boat was a comfortable ride as Louise wasn't so keen on 'fall-off' routine.

Oh, by the way, it was raining quite heavenly when we did all these activities, especially the Jet Ski part, where rain dropped on the face so painfully it hurt so much and eye vision marred. But what an experience! From November to February is the monsoon season and rain is expected to be on and off all day long.

Before I wrap up this water sport writing, another accident took place: Louise was stung by a bee on the beach on her left foot! It could have been a wasp or hornet! Accidents come in pair, the Chinese says. The first day there was food poisoning, the second day the bee stinging. And it was right before we rode on the Jet Ski. She felt a sharp in the flat of her left foot and saw this bee stuck there. Out of reflex she slapped the bee off. Upon checking, the sting was there on the flat and I had to work many times to remove the sting with my short nails. The itchy and swollen sensation actually stayed on for a few days… in which she complained all the time. I wonder what Louise had done to have offended the bee so much… And the bee had to give up her life to seek for revenge (Bees eventually die a few hours to a few days later after stinging others).

Guess we all have to learn to be peacemakers.

I also wish to mention our tour guide, a nice young lady by the name of Ni Made Rai, who have her tour guide service offered at Jalan Pratama 97, Tanjung Benoa, Nusa Dua, Bali. She was friendly and helpful, catering to our need of rest and lunch in between the tour. We also got to meet her father (bapa) who was also responsible to fetch us to Turtle Island in his boat, and her husband, who was the van driver, and her son (around 4 years old), whose left eye have gone swollen because of peeping girls taking shower! (A local traditional joke to make fun of people having swollen and inflammatory eyelid.)

When we got back to hotel in the afternoon, it's 3pm. And the trip to Uluwatu was at 4.30pm. We were eager for the trip as we were told the sunset on cliff view was superb. And there is this romantic dinner at Jimbaran beach too!

There we went: the second tour would be to the famous Uluwatu Temple on the west leg of Bali. What impressed us was more than the place itself: Our tour guide, a young man by the name of Leo (who has his service offered at Jalan Pramata 89c, Tanjung Benoa, Nusa Dua, Bali) was a very intelligent person. He speaks Japanese, Russian, some Mandarin and probably a dozen others. For each one he took courses for three months to ensure he got the right stuffs.

For this trip we were joined by a new friend from Russia, Uliya. The four of us took 30 minutes or so to get to Uluwatu. I must say I had this eerie feeling when I looked at the cliff and how close we could get to the edge of it. "What if I fell off?" was the thought I had, reminding myself how fearful we are to death. Upon arriving at the temple's entrance, we were given a yellowish golden rope to wear on the waist and ladies who worn shorter skirts or pants were given purple Sarongs to wear as long skirt. There were two routes to go. First we took the right one where plenty of monkeys followed us for some bananas. We were already warned to remove sunglasses and have our cameras strapped properly. Most monkeys were mild and polite; some were a little nasty. The law of universe applies to all species, right? The existence of monkeys poses not as a distraction, but rather a unique adventure for most tourists from the West. Many seized the opportunity to take pictures with them. Many of us commented who the monkey mother was and what the monkey fathers were doing and bla bla bla…

The path of the northern end took only about 10 minutes. Yet the view was more than incredible, offering a view to Indian Ocean with the sun gradually going down. It was a bit cloudy that day, nice sunset pictures was not an option. We took pictures with each other and commenting on the beautiful scenery and the serene feeling we had. It felt like the end of the world in the physical sense, even though we know by now it wasn't.

Long long time ago our ancestors had the courage to build ships to sail across the unseen and unknown places just to find out if it was the end of the world. These days human beings are repeating the same by exploring the universe with high power telescope, satellites and space ships. And equally many of us are training our minds inside to sharpen our focus to tune to the voice of God (the force of universe). All these, be they inside or outside, are more explorations to come, and one way to understand what position and role are we in this vast universe.

The path to the southern end took another 15 minutes. Upon arrival we saw many structures of temples. There we were at the famous Pura Luhur (Uluwatu) Temple, a temple built in the 10th century (or 8th, or 17th? Different parts of the temple could have been built at different times). I have always been fascinated by ancient architecture and marveled upon how these master craftsmen could engineer and build such incredible pieces of art work. The dedication and hard work and consistency amaze me. If I hadn't become a physician, I'd most probably be an artist. Anyway, diagnosing itself is already an art. Ha. Oh, I've drifted off again. Let's come back to the temple. We walked around the temple and I paid great deal of attention to the stone sculptures. It seemed to me that the square blocks used are made of corals. Some dead corals can be vividly seen in some broken pieces. Where else can be better for the sourcing of building materials if not the sea 250 feet below? Later on it's confirmed that the materials used was a form of black corals.

Like I said, it was a bit cloudy and therefore it's not especially easy to take pictures of sunset. We didn't opt for the Kecak dance 'cause we were too hungry for a quick dinner at Jimbaran.

Beach dinner at Jimbaran was indeed very unique. A stretch of 18 restaurants along the 2km or so beach is a sight to behold. And our guide Leo mentioned a few times how to spot airplanes coming in to Denpasar airport from the south-west, and those red dots far up north along the runway. The sea and sky were so dark sometimes the airplanes look much alien feel, however. The food was delicious and very affordable. I think it'd be particularly special to our new friend Uliya, as she told us the seafood in her hometown is very expensive for a funny reason: Because of state bureaucracy, applying for fishing permit is very difficult if not impossible. Local fishermen in her hometown then illegally fish and sell their catches to northern Japanese buyers before bringing just a little catch back home for self consumptions. Because of short local supply of seafood, the residents at her hometown have to buy seafood from Japanese businessmen, and what they are buying most probably are the catches of their own Russian fishermen. In a way, they themselves export the goods to another country and pay much more to buy them back, which turn out to be a legal way. In the end, local people suffer high cost of living expenses and a third party profit from it. And the local government sits on and watches the show going on and on.

Things like this make me sick.

There are always people value stupid procedures more than their catastrophic impacts. Moral education is the key. Family moral education to begin with.

Another drift. Sorry.

And there were musicians singing to their guests' home tunes. These musicians with bass, guitars and drums asked what country the guests were from and thus sang popular and traditional folk songs of that country. Very impressive I must say. It made us felt so welcome. Some countries can be too big, or too diverse, to have some all-so-popular folk songs – it took a while for Uliya to recognize the Russian song that they sang to her. :@)

The food we ordered were tiger prawns, fish, craps, Kangkong and a vegetable salad. They were cooked in traditional way and it's quite similar to Malaysian way. We all enjoyed the food very much. Nonetheless, Louise and I actually 'opened the rules’ (a polite and less guilty way to say 'broke the rules') a few times when it comes to being vegetarian for the trip.

To pay respect to the beings we're eating, once we order them, always make sure we eat them all in to become part of our bodies and share our deeds with them.

Life goes on, and pick up good lessons along the way. And share the good deeds with others, including those we've eaten, and that their deaths are dignified. It seems logical to think so.

All these exciting activities could have been too much for one short day that we had difficulty in falling asleep when we got back to our hotel room. A late night swim provided the remedy…

Monday, February 04, 2008

Bali trip day 1

Been back home for 3 days. Busy working with follow-up patients and some paper works. And it's the end-beginning of the month; it's time to analyze the whole month's works.

My wife, Louise, and I enjoyed the Bali, Indonesia trip very much in many ways: It's well-paced and we had time to relax and did something we've never done before. The air ticket package had the hotel covered and all that we needed to do was to take our time to check out places of interest.

Day 1:

On the first day we landed at Denpasar (Bali International Airport) at noon time and took a cab to head to Novotel Tanjung Benoa. The resort is great with nice landscaping and as I should know right now it's Balinese architecture. In fact, more I'd like to learn about the arts and philosophy of the architecture. But for now let's talk about the trip. We checked in and were greeted by friendly customer service and the Guava drinks were refreshing. Should have asked for second glass! Louise and I sheepishly asked for the availability of SEA-VIEW room and were told yes there are 8 bungalows on the beach side and only two have sea views. Eventually our hotel room is located across the street but not on the beach side! Ala… just a momentary upset as we knew we were on budgetary trip. The good thing is there are pools both across the street and on the beach side. So it's after all a 4-star hotel resort. After a light unpacking at the hotel room we were both a little hungry and decided to check the place out for some restaurants. Initial checking left us the impression that the place is quite remote from main town and therefore we went to the hotel beach club for lunch.

And this was where the food poisoning issue took place! We ordered fish and chips (Louise and I have been half vegetarians for a year), mixed fruit juice and pineapple juice. Thinking about it, we should have known it coming as Louise commented the fish (or the combination with pineapple juice) tasted funny and tingling. I took one piece of fish and realized it wasn't very fresh but was ok. 15 minutes into it Louise started to have itchy rashes on her neck, upper arms and feeling very hot. While we were having lunch, we bumped into a Malaysian couple who were on honeymoon. They saw us having dinner and we invited them to sit down for a chat. While we enjoyed exchange remarks on this beautiful island Louise was getting more and more uneasy. And she even felt facial numbness. All those symptoms told me it's more than allergic reaction; it can be a combination of food poisoning and allergic reaction.

It was only later that we recalled seafood (especially shrimps) contains high amount of arsenic which is believed to harmless for most conditions. When a large amount of vitamin C (as in some fruit juices) is taken together with seafood, however, this arsenic can prove to be very poisonous and fatal, the mechanism of which is still not very much known.

Quickly we went back to the hotel room and put a cold pack on her forehead. Nausea started to come in and I was thinking it's better to vomit all those food in the stomach than have them decompose to more toxic reaction. A few induced vomiting caused violent vomiting. It was harsh and it had to be done. After the stomach was empty I handed her half glass of warm water. The idea is to clear the digestion tract and dilute the toxins. I also applied acupressure technique on acupuncture points Hegu, Quchi to reduce the heat and stomach toxins. Half and hour later, with all the combined techniques she got better. With facial numbness and body temperature subsiding, we knew the situation was under control and were much relieved.

We decided to just rest for the evening.

Then again human beings can't be tamed easily. 3 hours later when the temperature is cool, rashes gone and numbness disappeared, she wanted to go out and explore. Well, knowing she's much better, I was eager to walk around the neighborhood too. We decided we wanted to walk south to the Nusa Dua direction. Along the way there are plenty of restaurants and small travel agencies. And to my surprise, Polo Ralph Laurent seems to be everywhere and so much cheaper (Then later we also saw plenty of just "Polo", so there are two Polos?) than it is in Malaysia. Souvenirs shops are everywhere too and the arts of bargaining came in readily. Ha. Louise and I are not so much shoppers (For sure I'm not) but we were ready to get something simple for a few friends and colleagues.

Before that was the necessity to take dinner. With the shadow of food poisoning Louise wanted to eat porridge to replenish fluid in stomach. Porridge? Steamed white rice is everywhere but not porridge. We walked further to the south and to our pleasant surprise there was indeed a Chinese restaurant! And it's pretty exclusive too! Being half vegetarians and in the need of porridge it came handy with the Chinese lady boss who can speak Mandarin pretty well. She patiently listened to our need of fluid and vegetarian menu and recommended exactly what we needed. While waiting for the dinner, we came to understand she was originally from East Jawa and just moved to Bali not long ago. She doesn't write the Chinese much but communication in Mandarin is splendid. She also briefly told us when President Suharto was around, things were hard for the Chinese culture to be kept. And guess what, Suharto passed away during noon time on the first day we landed on Indonesia. The man who was there for 32 years, probably the longest ever premier of anywhere in the world, was gone and dead…

I only got to know in the evening when we got back to hotel room and switched on the TV for some local news (My habit or checking out local newspapers, news, magazines). And then Berry, my Indonesian friend who lives in Jakarta, smsed me about the news later. My question as that time was: "How is he going to be remembered in the history of Indonesia and Asia?" Probably I'd compile a story on this later. It helps too in understanding Indonesian history for the past three decades.

By the way, food at this Chopstick Restaurant (at Club Bali Mirage, Jalan Pramata 72, Tanjung Benoa, Nusa Dua, Bali) was very authentic indeed. The taste and the way the food are prepared and cooked were just so typical of Chinese style. I say this because many Chinese restaurants in the USA and Europe have their foods heavily modified to suit local needs and tongue of favours. While it's understandable to do so to blend in, the authentic taste of the food is no longer Chinese.

When we are hungry there is not much we can and want to do in life. Now that Louise and I are full and spirit rising high, we went back from the way we came to book 2 daily tours for the next day. (Pic: Garuda, Half-man-half-eagle)