You may think I am a very brave person who do not worry about things too much and far from being qualified as a paranoiac since I am traveling to China right around the time the country is once again dealing with the threat of a bird flu pandemic. Well, I nearly meet the dictionary definition of the term paranoiac and I am sitting just on the other end of the scale when it comes to the two other qualities mentioned in my introductory sentence – yet I am still going to China. I have been following up the daily reports of WHO posted on their website concerning the recent bird flu events and the tips on how to avoid it, seen a doctor already to get advice on some potentially preventive medicament (we, the turks, of course came up with the cure for bird flu, we are just not telling you yet) and received two encouraging opinions from friends of friends living in Beijing and Shanghai. More importantly, I talked to my mom, who gave me the most precious advice by telling me to not touch the chickens while in China. The president of WHO also confirmed my mom`s advice so I am in good hands. I am glad that I don’t usually just walk around and touch the chickens that I see. So this last piece of advice will fortunately not require a great level of compromise from my daily habits.
I will try to report from China to tell how I am coping up with the bird flu issue but if you do not hear from me, it may be due to the internet restrictions in China but it may also be that I just could not help myself and touched a chicken. Anyways, I am very excited to take off and if the situation gets any worse in China, I have the B plan of passing to Japan from there. Well, I sometimes feel like I am already building up an excuse to make my second trip to the land of tranquility and modesty but let`s hope that China will be just fine. I would anyways not be too interested in being screened at the Japanese airports as a potential source of bird flu by getting off a plane originating from China. I know Japanese officers would be as polite as possible in such screening process but I read that they are now looking for the right to force anyone into hospital as a bird flu prevention measure if the person looks sick. I am a very pale looking person even when I am not sick, so my second trip in Japan may well be spent at the hospital the entire time instead of wondering around in Hokkaido. I will be in China until 14 May 2013 if not in a Japanese hospital and then in Japan for the rest of my life trying to pay off the hospital bill.