Pandemic Reading: Travel Writing

It’s week 3 of the social distancing. I am still working, doing what my school calls “Distance learning Delivery”, that is something of a hybrid form of online teaching. I usually drop a recorded power point, or a screencast for my students, together with exercises and check in with them on Thursdays. There have been bumps in the road, but I think all in all it has been working as good as it could have. Still I wish I knewRead more

COVID-19 and IBD

COVID-19 is on everyone’s mind. My family in Germany is safe, but there are areas that have seen big outbreaks. Three hours away, in Seattle, there has been an outbreak. And people with Chronic Illnesses, often taking immunosupressants, are wondering whether they should go into panic mode, buy lots of toilet paper and disinfectant, or go about their day as usual. Probably all of it? The news on TV, Twitter etc. are not exactly helping, so I was happy toRead more

Focus on Art: Yayoi Kusama

When I was in New Zealand last month, I went to the Auckland Art Gallery. I love art for several reasons- it triggers an emotional response, that I, who reads and writes for a living often cannot express in words right away, it pushes me to explore my feelings, thoughts and reactions, and ultimately teaches me about myself. For my academic self, I am always interested in the how and the what. How does the curator use the space available,Read more

Dear Public Restrooms….

I wish… …you were clean, all the time. I would happily pay a quarter every time just to have that assurance. I am not even asking for a self-cleaning toilet.  Alas, I am taking clorox wipes with me wherever I go. … stalls were sound and smell proof. Seriously, what is this metal wall in between business? It’s bad enough for me to know that I can make these sounds, does the world need to know? …if you don’t haveRead more

No, I don’t like being randomly touched. Thank you.

When I was in South Africa last month, the wedding couple organized a wine tour for the wedding guests. We went to Paarl and Franchoek and they had picked four very different and unique wineries. (Thank you guys!!). The first winery was Fairview. It is beautifully built, has great wines, and fantastic cheeses (which we unfortch couldn’t take with us). Heck, they even had bretzels. Outside the winery are beautiful gardens, and a goat enclosure. They don’t mess around, thereRead more

Jet-Lag

I am back from my South Africa trip. I am planning on writing a lot about it, but right now, I am hit with jet-lag. No matter what people tell me, for me, going from east to west has always been the worst. I am also noticing my age- a 30 hour trip isn’t as easy on me as it was when I was 18. There are a lot of good articles out there on how you should drink aRead more

Medication TV Commercials

I remember the very first time I saw a commercial for Remicade on TV in 2004. I was shocked. In Germany (and most other western countries), only over the counter products can get advertised on TV. So, I was familiar with Aspirin commercials, or cough syrup. But Remicade? I didn’t have TV for a long time, so I haven’t paid attention much, but recently, it was discussed in a bunch of forums and it got me watching, and thinking. MyRead more

Remicade Protocol 4859

Monday was Remi day- I had it scheduled around my upcoming South Africa trip (you want to have it in advance but not the day before). I usually take the first appointment in the morning, because I hate waiting. It was 7.30 am sharp as I walked up to the counter, only to be reprimanded by the guy behind it. Apparently check-in time was 20 minutes early. I gave him a sharp and nasty look, and said, “nobody is hereRead more

Traveling with IBD III: The AirBnB

Over the Holidays, I traveled to Germany again, this time with Lee. We visited my family for a week, and then met up with friends from London in Munich for five days. The four of us rented an apartment using AirBnB. I was hesitant at first- aside from the fact that I feel uneasy about the “sharing economy”, I was also worried as an IBD patient. Would we find a place where I didn’t have to share the bathroom withRead more

Resilience and Determination- a guest post, part two

This is James Gunter’s story, part II.  You can find Part One here.   When I awoke I did not find what I expected. They had told me that an appendicitis is a quick and easy operation these days which can be done through keyhole surgery. This would involve making 3 small cuts in my lower abdomen to remove my appendix. When I awoke in the recovery ward and managed to stay awake for more than 30 seconds, I decidedRead more