Saturday, May 07, 2011

Internal Heat

Two weeks ago, it turned really hot and humid here overnight. From wearing layers, to sweating in one layer, my body and my closet were not prepared for the quick change. I sweat a lot during the initial humid period, and I also had a slight break-out on my forehead. People were quick to point out both issues to me: “You’re sweating” and “you have some acne on your forehead.” Awesome. However, I have learned a new way to deal with both these problems. You simply have to tell people that you’re internal “qi” or heat is up, 上火了。 This is an acceptable reason for all these small problems and near as I can tell, it’s a fair topic for small talk since people have readily told me before that I am 上火了 or that my internal heat is up.

It’s also an easy problem to fix. You just have to eat more fruit, especially watermelon, and drink some chrysantheum tea. So now, when people tell me I’m sweating or point out some pimples, I simply say 我上火了. They nod with satisfaction and tell me to drink some tea and eat green bean popsicles or fruit. (Disclaimer: when I looked up the Chinese characters for 上火, it said this phrase can also mean to be angry at someone. Maybe I have accidentally been telling people "I"m angry" and then they think that explains why I'm sweating...but it does not explain why they continually recommend the same foods.) Internal heat, got you in a sweat? Try some refreshing chrysantheum tea and throw in some guo qi berries for good measure.


Norman & Joyce said...

It looks refreshing.

bitsyinchina said...

Love it! And you're right, 上火了 is the perfect explanation for everything from sweat to acne and cold sores to fever and swollen lymph nodes. Glad you can accept the 'medical' advice with grace, P! Many of our counterparts can't take the constant suggestions from the 'caring community,' but you seem to take it in stride! (:
love you!