I swear, I’d better have the Immune System of Steel after a year or so in Russia. At least this time it’s not a head cold. Yesterday I spent the afternoon shopping for a stylish new shoulder bag, and I was feeling rather fatigued but attributed it to hours of fruitless shoppping, which is bound to make anyone lose their will to live. Then I went to the philharmonic’s box office to get some tickets for later this week, and while standing in line had to hunch over and put my head between my knees to keep from keeling over. Still, I thought I was just tired, so I went to a cafe around the corner for borsch, which should cure anything.

The cafe was on Nevsky Prospect, St. Petersburg’s main street, and I got to observe several foreign businessmen chatting up their would-be Russian brides. I suppose I should be over it by now, but these scenes never fail to disgust me, all the more so in my woozy state. I had some borsch and even some cake and coffee, but I felt worse and started to get the sort of chills you only get when you have a fever.

Somehow I managed to stumble home and immediately crawled into bed fully clothed, immobile for about six hours. Eventually I got up to pee and take my temperature: 101 Fahrenheit, or 38.5 Centigrade. Ugh.

This morning the fever was gone and I entertained thoughts of having a productive day, but the fever was only a precursor to stomach flu. Ugh again.

Lots of the kids at the kindergarten have been sick lately. You know a kid is sick when a normally bouncy, naughty kid who is a big eater just stares listlessly at his plate. Now I know exactly how they feel.

OK, back to bed.