Next to my food poisoning I had another strange experience last night. After coming back home from the Hunan restaurant dinner, I went for a walk with my wife around our compound. Now that she is more than 7 months pregnant we do this every night before we go to sleep. Quite nice actually, because we get to talk a bit about the day, work and of course her pregnancy. Normally the walking brings the baby to sleep after a few minutes, because he stops kicking my wife’s belly.
When we almost finished our round a young, foreign guy called out to us in English. He shouted that he needed help, and if we could help him. He looked quite innocent, so we walked up to him. He said he was very sick and needed to see a doctor, but did not know how to get there. He did not speak much Chinese, or at least in his state he was not able to speak Chinese anymore. He also said that he was flying to Paris the next day, and that he was very afraid to miss the plane. I asked him what he had, but he was not able to tell me clearly.
He seemed to be panicking, was sweating and said he saw things. He was restless, and could not stand still. He said that if we gave him ten minutes of our lives, we could save his life. I thought this was kind of creepy, and my wife wanted to go away from him. But suddenly I realized that he might not be sick, but having a bad trip. I have seen that once or twice before (interestingly never in Holland, where this should occur more often), and it is quite scary. In case you have not heard of a bad trip, it basically means that you take drugs but the effect is the opposite of what you expect. You can get paranoid, you are scared to death of simple things and you cannot think clearly anymore.
I asked the guy directly whether he had taken drugs, and he told me he had smoked a joint earlier that evening. Bingo. I am not a doctor, but I decided to calm him down a bit. I took him to the 24-hour supermarket below our building where he bought a water (he was hardly able to pay, because his hands were shaking). Then we walked outside, where it was quiet and I assured him that things would be OK, and he should not worry about it. I told him to go home and just stay awake for a few hours until the drugs would wear off.
This made him feel much better, and he started to talk. He said he was French and worked for a foreign game studio in Shanghai on a project (I won’t mention the companies nor his name of course). He was flying back home the day after. I once again said that he should not worry, after which he seemed to relax a bit. He said thanks and walked back slowly in the direction of his apartment, I assume. I hope I did the right thing, I have no clue how to handle a person like this actually, but my actions seemed to calm him down and he did not want to see a doctor anymore. A weird experience around midnight…