Finals are finally over and I will be leaving for Korea in two days. I haven't been to Korea in nearly ten years but I still remember the savory foods vendors sell along the streets of Myong Dong Market. My grandmother called me today with some unfortunate news. She informed me about a bird flu called Avian Influenza that has infected poultry across the farms in South Korea. "You need not worry, sweetie," my grandmother said in Korean. Strict measures were taken so that farms would not further spread this disease. Nonetheless, grandmother told me to pack my warm clothes and prepare myself for some good Korean food. I can hardly wait.
December 25, 2003
Although CDC said the risk of H51N flu in the United States is low, I cannot help but think that travelers such as myself could contract the virus and bring it back to infect others. This wouldn't happen to us though.
January 13, 2004
I received a letter in the mail from Jeannie today. She wrote about the outbreak of Avian Influenza and how she could not eat her favorite chicken noodle soup, pho ga, while on vacation in Vietnam. Jeannie's uncle's Pho 2000 restaurant business is not doing very well. Everyone is too afraid to eat chicken after the news confirmed six deaths from the bird flu. Jeannie was the one that first introduced me to pho ga. It became one of my favorite meals. Now my appetite for pho ga and anything involving chicken has definitely dissipated.
January 14, 2004
I could not sleep much last night. I feel horrible that Vietnam is undergoing these tragic series of events. Hasn't Vietnam suffered enough after the war and widespread poverty? Now they have to endure the deaths of innocent people to a silly bird virus. Jeannie told me a lot of her relatives in Vietnam raise poultry in their own backyards. Poultry was not only an industry, but it was a "way of life" for them. They raised chickens to supplement their income. Now how will they support themselves? How come there is still no effective vaccine to...