Shui Tu Bu Fu: A Tale of Two Noses | Speaking of China

14 Responses

  1. 舒国阳
    舒国阳 March 28, 2011 at 6:50 am | | Reply

    水土不服!呵呵,sounds interesting! would anyone tell what the word”sink” in the first sentence mean?thanks~

  2. Bruce
    Bruce March 28, 2011 at 10:04 am | | Reply

    I don’t know if this will cure allergy but I’m drinking real honey from the farm for months now and it really works for me this year. honey is good for anti inflammatory. I drink that everyday and mix it with green tea. Just say this yr , I do have to take Claritin D.

  3. Bruce
    Bruce March 28, 2011 at 10:07 am | | Reply

    Just say this yr, I DON’T have to take Claritin D. typo thanks

  4. lifebehindthewall
    lifebehindthewall March 28, 2011 at 8:36 pm | | Reply

    the same happened to me… when I came back to visit my family in the states for spring festival… I had sneezing, running nose, and itched everywhere…. I was going crazy the whole time.. but when I got back to … I hate to say it…”Zhejiang Province…” (your husband can smile) … the sneezing stopped .. and I had to take something for the Itchy dry skin… but I feel fine… I thought what the heck… but it is the climate change… I am afraid to go home now… I might peel my skin off my arms and legs… hehehe…

  5. sam
    sam March 28, 2011 at 8:45 pm | | Reply

    I m Chinese Malaysian. Here the weather is SUMMER ALL YEAR LONG. Its a tropical country. Whenever the humidity is way up high, people with allergy will exhibit the same kinds of symptoms seen in John’s case. Mostly it affects the Chinese. The Malays and Indians and the other indigenous tribes don’t have those kinds of problems. Green tea helps to a certain extend, but each person is physiologically different and going to the doctor is of not much help anyway.

  6. Woman
    Woman March 28, 2011 at 8:48 pm | | Reply

    LOL!!! I am suffering today actually!!! I live in the deserts of Inner Mongolia and it is a wickedly dry day today. Beautiful day… but dry. But my nose is usually fine. It is my eyes that do me in!!!! I still cannot fathom how anyone can wear lenses in this part of China!!! It took about two years to get used to living in a city just outside of Wuhan when I first moved to China. All that moisture… and now??? My once very oily skin is too dry!!! And I so know those itch welts you have spoken of!!! So not pretty.

  7. ordinary malaysian
    ordinary malaysian March 29, 2011 at 3:29 am | | Reply

    I went lol (in a positive sense) when I read your mention of 水土不服。The Chinese are masters of brevity. It remains me of 古香古色, literally old smells old colours to mean have a feeling of the old-fashioned or the old or ancient? With just four simple characters, the Chinese have an answer/explanation to your hubby’s sneezing problem. The wisdom of an ancient civilisation! P.S Hope your hubby can recover from water, earth not accustomed.

  8. Tiffany
    Tiffany March 29, 2011 at 11:43 am | | Reply

    Try eating cranberries – it works for me:-)
    The change of seasons usually cause the allergic reaction to many “transplant” Americans. Mine allergy becomes quite life-stopping before I start eating cranberries like crazy. The allergy, well, they are no longer a monster in my nose.

  9. Bruce
    Bruce March 29, 2011 at 12:08 pm | | Reply

    If you go to Thailand, it’s wise to eat spicy food and lots of chili to offset “shuǐtǔ bùfú ” mainly for stomach upset. You have to drink honey for like half a yr in order for it to work for you. I take anything that has high antioxidants , high in omega 3 , walnuts, pecan , fish oil etc to boost up your immune system. You have to have commitment or else nothing will work .

  10. Rebekah
    Rebekah March 30, 2011 at 6:12 am | | Reply

    This is great, though I feel terrible for BOTH of you to have such allergic reactions to each others homes! Same thing used to happen to my boyfriend when I lived at my mothers house. There was much mold and an unfinished basement(ie: dirt floor). Maybe just a claritin would suffice, though it is true EVERYONE is different. Even here in the states, I LOVE LOVE LOVE warm weather and enjoy my stinky, sticky, hot Philadelphia summers, but if I go down south(like Florida) I cannot put in my contact lenses or stop sneezing the entire time!!!

    水土不服….:)

  11. Sarah
    Sarah March 30, 2011 at 7:01 am | | Reply

    Oh gosh that sounds dreadful, The only minor problem my boyfriend encountered was dry skin because the weather here is quite cold and damp and wet. but he just uses some cream and the problem went away.

  12. Henry Yeh
    Henry Yeh March 30, 2011 at 9:04 am | | Reply

    Nothing magical. It’s the same reason why smallpox wipied out the vast majority of Amerindians, & why Europeans had such a hard time with Syphilis. We’re inmunologically less prepared to diseases from exotic lands, that’s all.

  13. Katrina
    Katrina March 31, 2011 at 9:18 am | | Reply

    This is so true…I’m dealing with very dry skin now in Shanghai. I just went to the chinese skin doctor and he gave me some mysterious goop I have to eat every night. Hopefully what works for Chinese will work for me too, but I’m a bit skeptical…Has traditional Chinese medicine worked for you?

  14. Nathalie
    Nathalie April 3, 2011 at 1:53 am | | Reply

    I am happy my boyfriend and I do not have this issue. When I visited his hometown (Shanghai) for the first time, my skin had no problem adapting, and I usually have sensitive skin; same for the country side of China.

    The only thing I noticed is Chinese people do not blow their nose when it is runny (at least my boyfriend’s family, including him, do not even though they now live in Canada). Is it the same for your husband and his family?

    It is interesting to have to blow your nose with toilet paper because they do not have any facial tissues around the house, like we Westerners do. I quickly learned from my visits to his parents’ place; it’s like walking around China: bring your own tissues, everywhere you go hehe!

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