It was a totally wonderful meal. Delicious little salads, followed by a chicken couscous with caramelized onions and raisins that was a perfect meld of sweet and savoury. In a restaurant staffed entirely by women, apart from the old geezer on the door. And it laid me low.

Well, it may not have been that particular meal. Most likely, in fact, it was the altogether less impressive special lunch at the local research station. But, constraints on learning being what they are, I am forced to blame the fine food of El Fassia.

I was up most of the night, digesting little and, while sure I was infected, unsure which end would provide the exit. Further details would just be gruesome. But immediately a dilemma arose: to block, or not? Part of me thinks that, if the body is so keen to get rid of something, one should do nothing to stop that process. Another part thinks, maybe it isn’t the body, maybe it is the pathogen, seeking only to spread itself far and wide. And yet a third part says, I have to function, somehow: give me the pills.

They are miraculous. I made it through the morning, then retired to my bed for a nap before taking down the exhibit stand in the afternoon. Then slept through to this morning, when I woke feeling a lot better but not 100%. Sick as a dog, weak as a kitten, the metaphors just keep coming.

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