I took this picture in the elevator of my apartment building. It's a poster with a list of precautions to prevent H1N1 infection, never mind there isn't any H1N1 in Taiwan yet.
Last week I was coming off a cold. James and I walked across the street to the local Noble Family Steakhouse where I ate the worst ribeye I've ever had. It was completely over seasoned - I couldn't even taste beef - and slathered in some gooey brown Asian gravy.
I coughed a few times during the meal. When we went to pay our waiter looked at me with a stricken face and spoke in a scolding voice, which James had to translate.
"He said you're sick and you should go see a doctor."
I paid for the meal. The waiter half-apologetically put my change on a tray to avoid touching me.
I was flabbergasted. People here are more conscientious about spreading disease than we are back home, but still - this guy looked really scared.
Ah-ha. The light went on when we got outside: This is someone who has never seen me before, and for all he knows, I just stepped off the plane yesterday - making me a prime H1N1 suspect.
But he's not the only one showing extra precaution: Last week my boss ordered me to stick out my hands and she sprayed mine and the kids' with antibacterial. Every time I coughed in class Gregory asked, "H1N1?"
"No Gregory, Taiwan doesn't have H1N1."
"But if you go home. You go to Meiguo you will H1N1 you will ACK ACK UGGGHH Eeeeehhhh..." He then acted out a dramatic coughing spasm and death.
Speaking of North- American-born plagues: My first house guest arrives in an hour! Her flight is out of LAX, so I hope she doesn't get held up too long at customs.
She'll be here for the next week. Posting will be intermittent/nonexistent.