23 March 2009

The Secrets of Self-Preservation 保身祕訣


I have had this stubborn, persistent dry cough for about a month now. Multiple visits to the doctor’s office have been paid and a cocktail of anti-allergic drugs, cough syrup and inhaled steroid has been prescribed to little avail. Cold drinks and sugary food tend to irritate my windpipe and I have summarily cut them from my diet. But one irritant remains as unavoidable as April showers: the sooty air from rush hour traffic in Central.




It was a déjà vu of what happened three years ago when I first moved to Hong Kong. The dry cough was just one of the host of health issues that beset the early months of my repatriation...

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Read the rest of this article in HONG KONG State of Mind, published by Blacksmith Books, available at major bookstores in in Hong Kong, on Amazon and at Blacksmith Books.



14 comments:

  1. "There were also the blood-shot eyes, the throbbing migraine and even a curious case of impaired short-term memory, all seemingly attributable to the poor air quality here. "

    Hmmmm. That sounds more like a bad case of Wanchai-itis...

    GAW

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  2. what does "yin-yang" stand for?

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  3. For yr coughing, try 川貝. Attached the link for the recipe.
    http://www.leisure-cat.com/frm_1081.htm
    Hope u can read chinese well.

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  4. Drink enough fluids - spirits excluded.

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  5. I'm trying to understand why Hong Kongers, who are all clearly suffering from the onset of this disgusting pollution since around the time of SARS, just sit back, suffer and do NOTHING about it?

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  6. Thanks for all the suggestions. My cough is actually getting better, believe it or not. In the end, I think kumquat (金柑) really did help!

    Jason

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  7. In response to the question as to why Hong Kongers seem to be doing nothing about the pollution problem, I have indeed revised the ending of my article to offer a possible explanation.

    Jason

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  8. oh.... kumquat. I love it with honey drink.

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  9. is there any good hiking place on the island side? as the gym is getting abit boring... :-P

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  10. this soup works wonders for coughs (incl. smoker's cough) :

    crocodile meat (pls don't ewwww): can get from Jusco's frozen meat section (comes in vacuum packs of 4-5pcs, can use 2-3 pcs w/ some lean pork); dried tangerine peel, 川貝, honey dates (蜜棗), sea coconut, almonds for soup (南北杏). boil w/ 10 bowls of water for abt 2hrs at med-low heat.

    i love all those 'yit hey' foods that u mentioned but had to since give most of it up (temporarily) due to a nasty bout of rosacea...

    Wendy

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  11. I suppose one of the positive attributes of ur condition is that you are almost certainly guaranteed a seat on the MTR - hypochondriacs will yield to coughers rather than the elders.

    Get Well Soon!

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  12. Thanks for all of the health tips, everyone! I went to see a respiratory specialist yesterday -- the same specialist I saw three years ago -- and he gave me a more potent inhaler. I should be able to lose the cough in a week or so. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

    Jason

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  13. Thanks for your column "The Secrets of Self-Preservation". I enjoyed reading it very much!
    But are you sure that Hongkongers don't do exercise? When I was in HK (until July 08), I was the only Westerner in my Gym in Sha Tin (Physical, New Town Plaza). The other people all seemed to be Hongkongers! At least there apperence was Asian!

    Maybe Gyms on Hong Kong Island are different.
    Warm regards from cold Germany,

    Chris

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  14. Love your new article heaps, the Secrets of Self-Preservation. Very true too, except for the fact that irrespective of whether the gym rats are really that dedicated (no offence to anyone) somehow the idea of running on treadmills or doing other exercises in an enclosed area with 100 other perspiring bodies (and exhaling as much carbon dioxide as I am inhaling it) does not appeal to me. I tend to opt for racket games or hikes (or skiing when I was overseas before if I am lucky).

    Maybe I am the "ungrateful" soul, i never and slurp down the bowls of homemade soup with equal relish. Usually it is something i need to dispose of within me within 30 seconds before I rush off to attend to other matters (and mom always made the soup extra-hot for better effect, do they not?) Still, short of being a Chinese herbalist, can anyone actually remembers what beans to go with what nuts and what plants and portion of a pig to make a soup to heal one of the "humidity", the "heat", to "warm the stomach" and the list of ailments as numerous as there are Chinese characters in the language?

    But do try the 鹹柑桔水 suggested by Jesmer. I once had a cough so bad that when I attend lectures ( i was seated at the front rows) even the lecturer would back off to avoid my coughing into his "security zone" and my mom was fearing that I'd suffer a fractured rib (my cousin-in-law coughed so badly once that she fractured 2 or 3 ribs literally). I took the 鹹柑桔水 (as a WESTERN doctor prescribed) with 京都念慈菴蜜煉川貝枇杷膏 and I was healed in two weeks. Honestly I can't live longer than that without coffee so I had to recover !!!

    Christine

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