No Newspapers!!!???

herb matt

(Click here to read the earlier posts in my Bhutan series – Healthy Food?, How about a Miracle? and How about that Nirvana?)

Our travel companions gathered together for dinner that first night in Thimphu, Capital of Bhutan. We had a group from 18 different countries – Japanese, Europeans, one Hong Konger (not me!), many Americans and a few fellow Canucks from Canada. Mr. Herb Buffett from Ontario, Canada is 73 years old and counting – he has biceps that are the size of my thighs and he eats like a machine! Herb showed me that I have another few decades to work on a good life. I am convinced that Herb is related to Mr. Warren Buffett as Herb refused to add me on his will! Trust me, I tried but Herb probably figured out I would lose out in the longevity competition even though I am as determined as he is to win…

Matt, originally from Omaha, Nebraska and I hit it off quite well when he saw my T-shirt from our dear friends, Steve and Anna Hudson – “Nebraska: the good life…” We shared a few good jokes and memories of good food in Omaha. Moon and I started recounting that a few days before our Bhutan trip, how ill I was due to the food poisoning. Matt simply said: “You thought you were going to die, right?” I said: “Urghh….”  Why would I admit that to a new friend?! Matt said: “Your were so ill you thought you were going to see God. I had that before…” Well, sh*t happens to everybody, I guess.

Matt was right. For more than one moment in my 40+ hours of food poisoning induced bed rest in Singapore, I thought to myself – I have come this far in life, what if… (Anyway, I knew my family would be well taken care of and my patients would have their titanium implants fit well, my 9 post-graduate students at the university will be OK, new dental occlusions would bite right and the clinics would have enough talent to cover all things under the name of contemporary dentistry. In short, no one really would miss me…)

One thing though, I had not read my newspapers yet!! I did not get to read the Bhutan local newspapers too. Yes, I did not read any papers since December 5 – missing out 3 whole days of news! I had never missed out reading a single day of newspapers since I was 9 years old!! This was certainly out of my character/habit but I was very sick and I lost almost 5% of my body weight due to dehydration!! The leanest I had been since 1980!!

cake King of Bhutan

Remember we were supposed to meet His Majesty the Bhutan King? Anyway, the King of Bhutan was busy on our first evening in Thimphu but he sent a big cake to our dinner party instead of showing up. Some of us were happy as we did not need to worry about misbehaving. On the one hand, I was quietly happy that I did not need to worry about running to the bathroom when I saw him. On the other hand, we were worried about the consequence of not finishing the cake that was graciously given by His Majesty. As far as I know, in the old Chinese days, fail to accept a gift properly from the King may have grave consequences not only to the recipient, but may even extend to the recipients’ family, friends, teachers, classmate, cousins… you got the idea…

My first dinner in Bhutan was sumptuous and I managed to wolf down some meaningful food (and medicine) and we did not manage to finish the delicious cake. None of us got into trouble though. I started to like the monarch. He must be a great guy!!

Well, little did I know that missing out on 3 days of newspapers was nothing as that was the beginning of missing out a total of 10 days of papers and I did not really ‘miss’ it. The question was… (to be continued)…

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