¨You have fire in your brain. (have been hearing fireworks, mujer, you wonder!) Yes, some days you might feel very energetic and happy and then again you don´t. It´s because your head is all right but your heart…your heart´s condition is not ok. Do you dream a lot? Do you feel good? The tea I gave you last time warm your feet? Show me your tongue. Let me check your pulse.¨
Depending on my answers she scribbles (doctors’ writings…always looked Chinese to me), after each response, some percentage on the prescription pad. ¨Now, hen hao, 153 RMB for the grass (sic!), and 35 RMB for the boiling. Come back in two weeks for the acupuncture.¨
I’ll take you guys when you come visit! A Shanghainese friend of mine recommended this place when I was mentalising over my skin…just like a turkey egg, honestly. Yeah, struggling with spots, well, but who cares if I feel like a teenager again! Any suggestion for a word that crosses cougars with teenagers, BTW?
So, who would´ve thunk that it´s not the side effect of the ever ubiquitous MSG that is in the food here. It´s the prototype of an ancient Traditional Chinese Medicine Centre (Qi Gong in Nanchang Lu). A small, mid-19th century red-brick building, with poorly-lit wooden staircases, with the kindest staff ever, where the receptionist (quite cute; white uniform, scruffy punk hair, snazzy glasses with no lenses) guy accompanies you to the 3rd floor, opens the door for you, talks to your doctor before you enter, and wishes you a happy day before he heads back to his place downstairs. A service with a smile. At Chinese prices. The GP (The Grand Practitioner) has a hard-wood floor office with 5 beds (for acupunture), you see no medical tools whatsoever (ok, those random acupuncture longies), but pillows and furry-fluffy slippers so it´s nice and cozy like your granny´s living room. I swear sometimes I even mirage a fire place in the corner. Woohooo, that might be the MSG.
So I drink this ¨grass tea” and it has some fenomenal effects. Although it hasn´t exactly cured me just yet (still being too zen with a heart rate 43), its most apparent side effect is that I cannot even look at cigarettes, alcohol and chocolate. Hey, I did not intend to give up on those! I enjoyed my beer and a fag at the end of a hard day.
How this works, I haven´t the slightest, as I promise I´d had no intention of giving up smoking, let alone drinking and of course my daily chocolate intake had always been precious.
I was wondering today if this wise old apothecary lady could be exported to Europe – I´m sure Spain could do with her know-how, especially now that smoking´s banned in bars there, as well. She’d calm the crowd. (Probably smelling of bodily functions instead now, no? Just like it happened in pubs in Britain).
“Behind the Rabbit? No, it is the rabbit.”