I’ve missed two days of work this week. I’m now to the point where if I just don’t move, I won’t cough. hmm… at some point I’m going to have to get up off the sofa.

I tend to get really annoyed when I’m sick, especially if I’m just sick enough that I can’t concentrate on a book. So here I am, annoyed and looking at all the projects that I’m not working on and the new books I have that I’m not reading.

I did get the King Arthur Flour catalog yesterday from my mother and it appeared to be at the right reading and comprehension level for me. So I went window shopping through the catalog for a while and kept myself entertained.

Being sick in another country/culture is also an interesting event. Much of the unsolicited advice is similar to unsolicited advice I would get in the States – put on a sweater, where is your scarf?, drink more tea, “Mija put socks!” But I think that last one is just specific to me.

However, there are two things that I notice here. One is an extra-sensitivity to “cold air”. Especially, that you should not breath it. How, you ask, should you breath if the air is in fact chilly? You should wear a surgical mask.

I’m not sure how the surgical mask heats up the air, or prevents the cold air from getting into your lungs. It’s a mystery to me, but the people here swear by it.

The other difference I notice has to do with medicines. Unlike in the states, where it is extra difficult and expensive to get medicine, here is is extra easy and not anywhere near as expensive. And, since you can walk into a pharmacy and ask for many kinds of drugs, people tend to have a little bit of information about what these drugs do (more so that what I found to be true in the States).

So when you get sick, people will begin rattling off the names of all kinds of drugs that you should take. I have no idea what they are or what they are for and I know the people recommending them to me are neither physicians nor pharmacists. But, they are well meaning, none the less.

So, what’s a sick person to do? Well, I let Adolfo be the filter on the drug list. The one time I was very sick (with a cold), he (and his mother) did the research (called all the aunts) and decided what I needed. I took whatever it was, and started to feel much better. But that’s just my experience.

And, I’m not wearing the surgical mask no matter how cold the air is.

2 Responses to “sick”

  1. aj burke Says:

    When I got sick in Chile I went into a pharmacy and asked the person for some lozenges and they gave me chewable tablets that tasted like Draino. That is, what I think Draino must taste like. I ate two and then decided I was more worried about taking the Draino pills than about the sore throat, so I threw the rest away.

  2. Beth Says:

    I personally think the mask is so the other people will not get sick. So the people giving that advise are just germ freaks!

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