Chinese herbs and a midnight errand

I came home past midnight one day planning to boil that pack of Ba Zhen Chinese herbs I bought that day which was (according to the shopkeeper) supposed to be good for blood circulation and energy. I have recently been feeling lethargic and tired, mostly because it's been a busy month at work and the customers never seemed to cease filling up the waiting list from the start to the end of my shift.

Only when I got home and started opening up the pack of herbs did I suddenly realize that I forgot to buy sugar for making a herbal drink and thought, "How am I going to drink this without sugar? It's going to be so bitter!"

So in the quest in search of sugar, I went out at 1:30am to the convenience store, got queried by three patrol police officers on motorbikes as to where I was going in the middle of the night (although I was somewhat relieved to know that the police were doing their job in keeping the neighbourhood safe), then cycled my bike over a newly paved tar road, still warm with heat rising from it. Halfway through the steam, I started cycling faster for fear that my tyres may melt. Whew, what a night!

I finally got the pack of sugar from the second convenience store (because the first one didn't have it) and headed back.

Satisfied that I had all the ingredients in check, I put everything into the pot and started boiling the herbs. I sat down to eat a bit of supper while reading about how to boil Chinese herbs. One sentence surprised me and stopped me mid-eating, "Do not add sugar. Sugar inhibits the medicinal properties of Chinese herbs". Also, "Ba Zhen soup is best boiled with chicken to make a herbal chicken soup".

My jaw dropped. All that trouble for nothing!? Sigh. But I got some chicken to make a chicken soup the next day, just because.


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