I shouldn't be allowed to live alone
(Warning: this blog will get gross. Very gross.)
Luckily, I have a roommate coming tonight. I need someone to keep an eye on me so I don't kill myself. Most people get sick when they come to a new country because they have to adjust to the food. I get sick because I am an idiot. First, I must say I find the fresh produce here absolutely irresistible. I have a habit of gorging on raw fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately, fresh off that plane that is a terrible idea, and everything I am came rushing out my butt. Luckily, since that first catastrophe, I can now handle more of my delicious greens, but that doesn't keep me from doing eating other stupid things. I don't like wasting things, but I don't really eat a lot. Usually, I can only buy fruits in half kilo increments, so I just slowly chip away at my supply, and try to get through all of it, even if it tastes as though maybe it has turned, but I just can't stop myself because figs are so great, and I don't want to accept that I let them go bad, and then I get intense stomach pain and the runs... again. Sometimes, I do this even with other people's food. My host family had some salad in their fridge, so I ate it, because it was there, completely disregarding the off taste. That one lead to an early morning run to the toilet to vomit. Weeee.
I write these gross details not only to gross you out (though I do enjoy doing that), but also to illuminate that feeding yourself when you live alone is hard. It is difficult to cook for one. Also, being sick adds innumerable stress to the already difficult process of adjusting to a new culture, so be sure to listen to your body and read the signs to avoid food poisoning. I am really hoping that my new roomy will want to work together on the groceries so we can both enjoy what's fresh before it goes bad. I would also like to point out that none of my illnesses come from street food or Egyptian classics, so don't be scared to jump into the Egyptian cuisine.
One last story for you: This is most horrific and from just last night. Yesterday, I visited my American gal friend at her compound in Maadi. The area is very expat-y and filled foreigners. She is doesn't like living in an area that is so un-Egyptian, but she does a great job of getting out and seeing things anyway. On our way to her apartment we stopped by a local store to buy some pop. I was ecstatic to find some ginger ale at this store. With my numerous tummy troubles, I had been craving ginger ale immensely. I should have known that this was The Fates foreshadowing by impending stomach doom. Inside the store I greeted with rows and rows of legitimate American breakfast cereals. I was ecstatic. The cereal here is awful. I got some "Fruit Rings" a couple weeks ago hoping for a Fruit Loop like experience, but instead I got some stale pale colored rings with a vague floral taste. So I went for it, I got two boxes of american cereal, FOR OVER 100 EGYPTIAN POUNDS. My excitement at the time seemed to justify the purchase. First thing when I got home I dug into the Cheerios as a before bed snack. That exorbitant cereal purchase may have been kind of stupid, but my consumption of said purchase was straight up dumb. Here in Egypt they sell a kind of super pasteurized milk that doesn't need to be refrigerated until it is opened. Maybe you saw the picture of the milk carton I posted before. It contains somethings like 9% fresh milk. I just figured that since this milk is so processed it wouldn't go bad and despite the fact I opened the carton maybe two weeks ago. I think the 91% of not fresh milk covered up any clues of sourness because I didn't smell anything fowl in the carton or taste anything off in the cereal. But then 3:30 am came around. I was actually woken up my a friend calling me back (Ramadan hours are crazy), but then I found I couldn't go back to sleep because of tummy pains. It tried to relieve myself on the toilet, but when it became clear the nausea wouldn't stop I grabbed a pot to keep next to me in bed. And then I puked. Luckily, I hit the pot. Sometimes, when you're sick and it finally gets out of your system you immediately feel better. Yeah, this time was not like that, and I vomited again at 5:30 am, and then again at 6:30 am. By the last time it was just dry heaves. I HATE DRY HEAVES. I don't think your body could tell you "I hate you" anymore clearly than dry heaves. I also got diarrhea with those dry heaves. I was woken up by another bought of diarrhea at 8:00 am, and that marked the first time I did not make it to the toilet in time.
Thank god, I don't have class today. My only plan is to recuperate after my painfully eventful night.