I’m not doing too well. I have come to believe that I’ve developed a love-hate relationship with Penang. Once, the island gave me my worst bout of flu that landed me with 5 stitches to my head (a long story which involves very strong medication and a lot of pain). This time it’s diarrhea. The uncertified doctor in me (thank you, Google) suspects it to be either traveler’s diarrhea or stomach flu.
And while perusing Google and Wiki, I discovered what caused a certain trauma to my bowels 5 years ago. I was hungry for some cheap hawker style fish and chips so I stopped by the nearest store. A few hours after eating, I had some “interesting bowel activity.” I will spare you the details, but it was not at all date-worthy. Some people however, had it worst. In Hong Kong and Singapore, the fish was sold as a knockoff version of cod. I don’t really understand Mandarin but I believe this is about the fake cods.
Lesson in inconvenience: Avoid escolar, also known as butterfish, oilfish, Hawaiian walu and white tuna (served in sushi restaurants, but the portions aren’t substantial enough to cause a reaction) or cheap cod meat or Chilean sea bass. Or just avoid cheap fish and chips. What you save in dollars, you pay in embarrassment and excessive use of toilet paper.
Since we’re on the topic of fish, it’s only fit for me to share about my recent nasty encounter with fish. At my last bite of a stir-fry fish fillet meal, I found what looked like a strand of noodle in the meat. With some simple fork prodding, it turned out to be a cooked roundworm. The same kind found in the feces of a dewormed pet. This is gut churning, but it’s also called education.
I have downed 2 tablets of Zentel since the encounter.
As for my souvenir from Penang, I’m setting up a date with the doctor.