Thursday, January 22, 2009

Falling (really) ill for the first time

"Hullo, it's me again, Sonny.

"We are in a place that is completely foreign to me, called Abu Dhabi. My parents kept telling me that "we were going to take a take a ride on a big iron bird", as though I was a complete idiot and didn't know what an aeroplane was. In case you'd like a refresher, it's not a bird, is not alive and does not flap its wings: It uses engines that suck in air to burn fuel. Everyone knows that.

"Maybe I sound a bit grumpy. The truth is, I have been unwell. I was nursing a nasty fever and my nose is still running like a faucet. Ugh. This was probably the most extended and unpleasant bout of illness I have encountered. Previously, my parents have occasionally gotten all het up after taking readings with one of those thermometer things they cart around everywhere, even though I didn't even really know what the fuss was about. This time, though, I felt rotten, like I had been fed less-than-fresh milk.

"I don't think I much like "being ill" if this is what it feels like it. Maybe my parents can take better care to ensure it doesn't happen again. I ought to lodge a complaint or something. Then again, apparently, the "very small wicked things" that cause illness (yes, I'm supposedly too young to understand what a pathogen or a germ is) come from other people. And since I mingle with a good number of other children at the infant care centre, that means I can't really be well protected.

"Or so my parents say. I smell an excuse here. Surely there is some sort of injection or pill that could prevent me from falling ill? After all, people are always going on about how wonderfully "modern" and "advanced" human society is these days. Well, I wouldn't say we were all that advanced if we couldn't even keep a baby from falling prey to germs! So what if you have aeroplanes, or even spaceships? I'm talking about the important things in life.

"Anyway, I think I am recovering now. This place is quite interesting even though people dress funny: Most folks are very friendly towards me and will try to talk to me or at least smile. This shows that they are civilised. Or that's my own personal yardstick of civilisation anyway: The degree to which people show proper conduct towards the very young. Hey, we are your future, after all."

Best wishes,