Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Romanian Folk Remedies
Ever since my husband left for New York a few weeks ago my grandma has been calling me just about every day, for one reason or another. Usually it's to ask how the cats are (they're fine), how I am (I'm fine too), if I either put gas in the car or had the oil changed (yes to both), and when my husband's coming home. He told me I should tell her "Never, and it's because of you!", to which I told him that, though it was amusing, the sarcasm would just confuse her. I guess sarcasm doesn't compute well when you're speaking English to a Romanian speaker.
Well, today she told me that her sister told her they've shut down schools in Romania because of swine flu. Actually, I don't know if it really was her sister since the word for sister in Romanian can also be used in a "my friend" context like "Hey bro, wuddup?!" That's beside the point though. So she told me that I need to be careful because swine flu can make me sick, so what I need to do is get some rubbing alcohol and cotton balls and wipe my nose with them to kill the germs. She then asked me if I had a place to wash (my hands) at work and told me how she takes a little baggie with cotton balls soaked in rubbing alcohol on the bus to wipe her nose with so she doesn't get sick. I feel sorry for the people who have to sit next to her on the bus.
Gotta love those good old folk remedies. I wonder if back in Romania she used vodka or something instead of rubbing alcohol. If that was the case, I bet she stopped when she moved to the US because people on the bus would ask her if they could have some booze too.
I think rubbing alcohol must be her favorite cure-all. Apparently sticking rubbing alcohol soaked cotton balls in your ears will help you get over a sore throat and cold, and if you soak your head in rubbing alcohol it will kill head lice. Personally, I would rather she went with the Victorian era cocaine as her cure all, at least that would be fun and you wouldn't smell like you had a Russian warehouse accident.