Doppelgangers – Day 6

June 30, 2006

Japanese clinical trial participant

I was just told there are some Japanese dudes on the floor above us, doing the same trial. Its a comparative study, comparing doses in different physiology, caucasian and Japanese, to ascertain the value of the existing FDA approval which was based on the results of studies on caucasians only. Apparently, each of us is matched in number to a Japanese guy, who gives blood, eats, and takes the drug at exactly the same time. This is interesting because the Swedish students have been talking about their counterparts, and one had conversations with his. They met during drug administration, the Japanese guy stood across the table from him and they swallowed the pills together. My roomate has confirmed he has a countepart also. But where’s mine? I have never seen him. He’s certainly not opposite me during drug administration. Maybe I don’t have one, maybe not enough Japanese passed the screening and the trial is one short. Except the two Swedish students are at the ends of the numbering range and they both counterparts, so shouldn’t I?

Of course the other explanation is that he is my mythical doppelganger, my supernatural double. In which case its probably just as well he is invisible to me, as according to Wikipedia an encounter with your doppelganger is an omen of doom.

A couple more blood samples this morning and then we were released again. This time for two days, so they put us in a hotel. We went and hired a car and drove to the beach. It was mostly pretty good. It got a little weird at one point; my roomate was driving the car and he clipped the passanger side rearview mirror when driving down one of those tiny little streets you get here in Japan. Actually that was kind of ok because it was the one spot the car already had some damage, and it was marked on the rental form. Yet later he wanted to drive again, and the French guy, who signed the car rental documents, wouldn’t let him. They had a tense, but softly spoken argument about it. My roommate, relegated to the backseat, stayed quietly pissed off until we got back to the hotel.

We went out for dinner and snuck in a few beers on the sly; alcohol is strictly prohibited during the trial. Everyone loosened up and we had some good talks about Japan, women, sex and immigration visas, the usual gaijin coversations. We watched the second half of the Japan vs Croatia World Cup match, the result was nil-nil. The locals seemed a little glum, but not as much as last week when they lost 3-1 to Australia. I’ve been telling people I’m from New Zealand when they ask recently.

So far, no effects from the dug testing.

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