Learned it the hard way today, that you're supposed to sleep with your clothes on in the Taiwanese winter. Been lying in bed all day, fighting a flu, so I didn't get to write about Yangminshan or Gugong that I went to during last weekend like I planned. I am better now, so I'd just like to give away a little update before I go back to bed.
In Taiwan, it's not exactly cold, but that doesn't mean you wont feel cool at times. They are not exactly good with thick clothes and it seems that building insulation is something alien to them. Also, you shouldn't expect to see much of heating systems in their buildings. If you want to heat your house around these parts, you can only use electric heaters, and those aren't too effective. Neither on energy nor time.
Okay then. This is perhaps a bit of an unfair comparison with Denmark, where we care very much about this. There's probably a bunch of other countries that aren't too concerned about heat either. I've been to Italy during the cold season too, which is a good example.
But then... In the schools, they usually sit in classrooms that are not much different than sitting outside with just a roof over your head. But they're wearing school uniforms. Thin little things that are comfortable in the summer. Most of the days the girls are still in bare legs even. It is possible to buy an additional coat to put over your other uniform clothes when it gets cold, so that's the one everyone wears, but I doubt it works miracles when only a little more than 5mm thick. I really wonder how these guys survive. I'm wearing a big jacket with wind protection and lots of air inside, and I still feel a little cold when I sit still.
Now, to help the body fight the flu, people here eat a lot of chicken. This is chicken soup, where you especially focus on eating the soup, as this contains a lot of good stuff from the chicken. Also eating the meat and skin (Taiwanese love skin especially.) is of course great, but the soup is most important. It can also warm you up as it is a hot soup.
Now, this is kind of a natural treatment, but most people in Taiwan when they contract an illness, will not just treat themselves with this. They will go to the doctor for the smallest discomfort, and happily munch any amount of medicine that they can get, and I'd say that they probably should cut down a bit on some of the consumption. Eating 5 to 10 pills, three times a day for 3 to 7 days because of a flu is a terrible overkill. Especially since those painkillers sometimes included aren't exactly necessary to fight an illness.
Not that I'm going to eat a single pill for a mere flu. The old fashioned way of lying in bed until everything's good works for me.
Essence of Chicken. Sounds like some bad wow parody.
It did take me a bit of convincing to accept this one: It looks like something you'd buy at a drugstore right? (And probably is available there too.) But after a bit of examination, it seems more like something you could buy at any supermarket, maybe even 7eleven.
It's apparently Chinese medicine, so should be natural. It's just boiled chicken concentrated down into a small jar, and it tastes horrifying, but it should help your immune defense and of course do a lot of other good things to you as it is with everything edible here. I think some of the locals here really like it for it's health-improving abilities, but shopkeepers shouldn't expect me to go buy stuff like that anytime soon.
I still prefer the other soup. That one is not so concentrated at least. Seems to be the famous black bone chicken too at that!
Oh well. That's quite some rambling already. I should head back to bed and get the invading orthomyxoviridae cleaned out once and for all.