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Allergy attack or guòmǐn (过敏)

Last semester, two of my students came to see me with the most horrible looking skins. The first was a boy whose skin looked as if he had aged horribly – he looked as if he had turned from a young man into his grandfather overnight!

As he had missed a class presentation, he had come to see me with his medical certificate. I felt really sorry for him and wondered if it hurt. He said that it would itch if it was dry and thus, he had to apply a special ointment the doctor had prescribed. I’ve not seen him around yet but I hope that his skin has healed completely.

You see, he’s quite a shy boy and I’m sure he felt really self-conscious as he walked around campus like that. Thankfully, his class didn’t have any “It” girls who might have said something nasty…

A few days later, a girl came to see and showed me the most horribly deformed foot! Oh my God, I thought I’d seen it all but this has to take the cake. She’s quite a pretty girl with smooth fair skin but both her feet were dark brown, swollen and her toe seemed to be on the verge of oozing pus. I would have puked if I had been snacking when she came to see me.

She was quite apologetic but I wondered what happened and she told me:

“It was my shoes. I was allergic to the lining in the shoe.”

“Are you serious?”

“Yes, miss. I didn’t believe it either until I changed to my old pair of slippers. Maybe the lining has some kind of corrosive chemical.”

Of all the things in the world to cause an allergic reaction!!!

Looking at the condition of her feet, which looked she suffered an acid burn, I don’t think I want to buy any cheap shoes that are made in China.

As it is, I can hardly find my size around here. Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise after all.

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