Friday, 19 October 2007

Hayfever and Pomelos

There are so many things I could write about now, all overdue of course, but I'll just write about today for now. Over the last two weeks or so the weather has changed dramatically. Gone are the blissfully warm yet comfortable temps that were to be had in late September and the first week of October (the week long public holiday). Although it is still sunny during the day the air is now cool and dry. Very dry.

My and my husband's hayfever have come back with a vengeance! In Australia many many people suffer from hayfever and I suffered from it quite badly, having it year round, some days worst than others. Whilst I was in China (and heck I noticed this whenever I was in ANY other country apart from Australia) my hayfever did not exist. At all. I put this down to the extremely dry climate in Australia coupled with too many allergenic plants, grasses, flowers, etc.

So, it is quite a rude and unfortunate shock that I find myself suffering from this horrible thing once again - red, itchy eyes, itchy palate (roof of inside of mouth), watery runny nose, sneezing, even headaches. It's just yuck and makes me feel like I have a cold, which of course I don't. It's not so bad inside our house where I haven't used the air-con but with indoor heating it seems to be particularly bad as it's so dry inside.

Anyway, this morning I was talking to my ayi and she said she had itchy eyes and a friend of my great aunt (who she also works for) had similar symptoms and to relieve them, I was supposed to get some kind of special fruit and rub it all over my face, particularly my nose. So away she went to the market across the road, and came back with a fruit I had never seen before. It was green and had the smell of a lemon. The skin was extremely thick, soft and spongy and bright white, while the flesh looked like grapefruit, heck it even tasted like grapefruit except much blander, and sweeter and not at all bitter. (the pic above does not give you an idea of how big it is though - it is roughly the size of a small coconut). In Chinese it is called yòuzi (柚子).

I laughed and dismissed this crazy Chinese idea but she kept forcing me to do it. She ripped apart the skin of this (what I later found out was a) pomelo and gave me a piece the size of a business card and forced me to rub it all over my face. Actually, after a while it did feel quite soothing and the smell was really nice and not at all overpowering. It was probably a good exfoliant for my face too! (haha).

I am used to weird Chinese medicial and health related 'ideas' so I was not shocked by this but I found the whole idea rather amusing!

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