Friday, August 31, 2007


Yesterday we were to hang out with a group of Sunshine's coworkers during happy hour. Events like this seem to spring up about twice a month. Notice is circulated on an internet list frequented by Sunshine's orientation class. I've gotten to the point, finally, where I know most of the people I see at these things. We go to them when schedules permit. Yesterday, the schedule permitted a little too well. Sunshine gets out of class, for a few weeks at least, at twelve thirty on Wednesday afternoons. Yesterday we promptly returned to the institute for my very last shots. One dose of Japanese encephalitis later, plus a half-hour wait for someone to assess the vaccination site for skin reactions, I was finally finished with my shot schedule after eleven injections and fourteen diseases. I must still endure one more each of hepatitis A and B, but not before next February at the office in Vietnam.* After my appointment, we were very early arriving at the nearby happy hour bar, a fancy self-serve Italian-like Café franchise called Vapiano* which looked to be constructed from plastic barn wood and nice red luggage. We were so early the place was completely empty. The gimmick here is to give each customer a "membership" card they may then swipe at any of several food stations to log orders. They are then given a beeper to alert them when to pick up their food. This innovation is similar enough to taking a credit card to the food court that I'm not suitably amazed. We had plenty time to talk it over since no group of coworkers ever arrived for the happy hour. Later we discovered the group was at another Vapiano downtown. So we left to get Italian food from a better restaurant. [Cavin]

Then, a 2 sided conversation ensued...

To which Blogger Mr. Cavin added:

* I have also become very confused about my anti-malarial regimen: first I was told I'd be taking Mefloquine once every week I ventured away from Saigon starting two weeks prior and continuing for two weeks after returning. So: weekly for twenty-five months. Since Southeast Asian malaria is a strain that is Chloroquine resistant, I figured this was my only option. Mefloquine is Lariam, the wonderful nervous psychotic with terrible side effects ranging from lucid night terrors to suicidal depression, neuropathy, and loss of balance. I didn't want to take that if I could help it. Now I've been advised that, actually, there are Mefloquine-resistant strains of the disease in Cambodia and Myanmar, and that Doxycycline is probably the better fit. This one is taken every day, but for only one day prior to travel in a malarial area. The instructions on most anti-malarial medicines indicate treatment continues from the last possibility of contraction throughout the gestation period of the disease, which would mean a further two weeks of pills after returning, but I haven't heard one way or the other about this new drug. Doxycycline’s big drawback is the possibility of greater photosensitivity, or an increased chance of getting a suntan. Either way, since Ho Chi Minh City is considered safe (and I don't want to fly with hundreds of prescription pills), I'll be taking the advice of the office in country.

Friday, August 31, 2007 3:42:00 PM  
To which Anonymous henry p added:

Doxy also causes some pretty reliable nausea, but I'd take photosensitivity and nausea over the side effects of anything that ends in "oquine." And over malaria for that matter.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007 9:36:00 AM  

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