Sixth God's Water

Being sick is no fun. And having a thumping headache is equally awful.
I think it takes my body a couple of days to be in “sick” mode. I think my sniffles, headache and scratchy throat were a culmination of a number of things I did. Well, last Sunday I happily wolfed down nasi kerabu and rendang tok, bought from the nearby pasar Ramadan. But the rendang tok was heavily spiced. Not chili-burning hot but once spoonful of it and I knew it had a load of heat-inducing spices which could either give me a sore throat or an upset tummy.
Monday – I was under the blazing sun at 11 am. I had just visited a friend’s shop when I decided to pop into the nearby haberdashery to get my crochet hooks and yarn. Walked under the sun for 5 minutes to get to the shop.
And then on Thursday, I had a load of deepfried snacks – Thai snacks – in a shopping mall…all because I was waiting for the rain to stop. Also, I think I walked under a drizzle and as all Chinese tend to believe, it isn’t good to get one’s head wet in the rain. Though I did come home and wash my hair.
Those few events and bingeing added up and I fell sick yesterday though my appetite didn’t wane much. In fact, I got hungrier though eating was not much fun since my throat was scratchy.
A friend told me to visit the doc but I am that sort who wouldn’t. I’d rather see the “sinseh” than the doctor. I’d rather down weird, murky potions than pop a few antibiotics. I know, that is odd. My cousins run helter-skelter at the sight of Chinese herbal concoctions but I can happily slurp up the stuff, without batting an eye. That’s why I enjoy visiting Chinese medical halls…. the herb smells stimulate me.
So to get rid of my sniffles, instead of Panadol, I took this ginger medicine which is diluted with hot water. It is called “Sixth God’s Water” in Mandarin but I think it’s a combination of ginger and chili. Even I, the one who can take all sorts of foul-tasting brews, think this Sixth God’s Water is the absolute torture to swallow. It’s like vodka I think… one sip and your body wakes up from the shock. It’s like fire when it travels down your throat and it makes you want to gag. But it works.
When I was a child, my mum used to give me this yellow powder mixed with water to cure my vomiting spells (I used to have gastritis when I was young) and it was called “Siam Medicine Powder”. It was pure muck and like Sixth God’s Water, tasted horrible. The taste is somewhat like licking incense or joss, if you have ever licked incense. But it cured me and that was what mattered. I think I grew accustomed to such weird medicines.
So I am going to take another dose of the Sixth God’s Water and sleep it off, wrapped in my blanket.

4 thoughts on “Sixth God's Water”

  1. see, everything thai is cooll…hehe.
    anyway, take care mate, come visit me soon. (or rather, me go visit u soon?)
    slmat hri ryer & hepi deeep

  2. hi keatix
    thanks dear. have a good trip to Paris. hope your lungs won’t be too bugged by the cold. dream of char siew fan often too ;-)ya, come and visit me.

  3. For Chinese Medicine and acupuncture treatment specific to an individual’s needs, there is a a clinic located at Malaysian Buddhist Association at Burma Road just opposite CRC and another at Che Lee Horn (is the spelling correct?) Moral Uplifting Society opposite St Georges School at Macalister Road.
    True enough the medicine tastes awful, tons of advice on what food to avoid, quite a long healing period, idiosyncratic herbalists whose moods follow the Chinese almanac and an equally diverse motley crew of patients … but the treatment really works!
    Plus there is no clinical white wash feeling that one usually gets in a typical western clinic. And as you wait for your turn for consultation or medicine (prepare to wait!) you can have a look around the surrounding; whether it is the calming ambience of a temple or the green surrounding where couples get ready to sign the dotted line of marital bliss.
    All these at a nominal fee of less than Penang’s most famous (and heaty!) Char Keow Teow. The irony!

  4. dear giovoni
    THANKS for the tip! 😉 I didn’t know there was a clinic at MBA. Oh yeah reminds me that there is also an acupuncture clinic at Lam Wah Ee Hospital, Green Lane. Yeah, you’re right about the “clinical white wash feeling” one gets from regular hospitals and clinics.

Leave a Comment