I have a head cold. Woo-hoo! And the timing couldn’t be better, because it’s not like I’m getting married in seven weeks, or that I have a bunch of work to wrap up before then, or that my grandma, who I haven’t seen in four years, is visiting my uncle, aunt and cousins in Kaohsiung and I’d like to see them soon, or anything. I mean, argh. I’m a bit alarmed because I just had the flu two months ago. On the other hand, I hear that adults have on average three to four respiratory ailments every year, so two down, two to go, right?

Anyway, I was feeling a bit better today and decided to head over to my favorite noodle place, Rakumenya (樂麵屋, lè miàn wū), off of Yongkang St. They don’t have a wide menu, but all of their ramen bowls are customizable. I usually pick the original soup stock in rich flavor, 2.4mm noodles prepared al dente and extra slices of tender, fatty pork if I feel like I can handle the extra calories.

I was waiting for my yummy, yummy noodle bowl and trying to hide my coughing behind my face mask when I heard sniffles coming from my left. The lady next to me apparently was also nursing a cold! It suddenly occurred me that a popular ramen joint like Rakumenya is probably one of the worst places to go to during cold or flu season if you are a hypochondriac. I’m not a hypochondriac and I was really pleased with my dinner, even though it filled me up so much I couldn’t go and get extra-gingery dou hua from my favorite dou hua place afterwards.

Another good place to visit if you are feeling under the weather is Lung Hsian Chu (龍涎居, lóng xián jū), which has two locations in the Shida night market. They serve chicken soup made with herbs that have different health properties. One of my favorites is the wild grape soup, which is supposed to “regulate your menses.” I love straightforward menu translations! I mean, I can’t speak to whether it’s effective or not, but I swear that after I had dinner at Lung Hsian Chu last time, I felt my uterus strap on a naval officer’s uniform and click its spit-polished dress shoe heels together. The restaurant also offers add-ins for your soup, including rooster testicles, which are supposed to pump up virility in men. I’ve always wanted to add rooster testicles to the wild grape chicken soup, but I’ve never wrestled up the nerve.