I walked through the temperature cameras on arrival at Changi Airport in Singapore yesterday without being pulled over by one of the ominous-looking mask-wearing operators. So i hadn’t displayed signs of swine flu a day and a half ago.
On waking this morning though, the temperature cameras would be ringing off their hooks from the heat emanating from my body. Is it the overheated room here in my hotel in Lisbon? Or are perhaps the blankets are not wool? Or, God Forbid, have I been exposed to Swine Flu or any other catalogue of deadly germs from eating the Japanese rice crackers with my local beer while sitting, dazed and alone in a non-smoking bar waiting for my room to be ready yesterday?
Picking at a couple of rice crackers while watching the activity in the busy square outside, I thought I was experiencing a Portuguese twist when one tasted a bit orange and chewy. How quaint! But I finally broke from my daze, wanting another sip of my beer, thinking ‘how can a rice cracker, however flavoursome, still be in my mouth?’
Some low-life had deposited his discarded Juicy Fruit chewing gum not under the table top, but in the bowl of rice crackers! Aaarghh!
Now, as I fight to obliterate the thought (and taste) of that moment of discovery, I know the fear not only of swine flu but of unwanted pregnancy and any number of other dreaded afflictions brought on by momentary lapses in judgment or dazed distraction.