Friday, October 21, 2005

Great. I think I have avian flu.

I'm sure you've heard all about how bird flu has recently been found in Turkey, and when you look at a map, that's not really all that far from Germany. But since I neither work with nor eat chickens, I guess my risk goes way down, so maybe I just have a cold. It could be traced back to my biking from class to class yesterday, when the temperature in the wee morning hours was just hovering around 2 degrees celsius. Or maybe I picked something up from one of my students or at the university. Regardless, now's the time to put my knowledge of home remedies from not one, but two countries to use. Here in Germany, a very common thing to do if you have a cold, or more specifically, a sore throat, is to slap a scarf around your neck immediately. I don't know if this has any scientific background, but it sure is comforting to wear a scarf around the house, and last winter when I had a nasty sore throat and wore a scarf overnight, my sore throat did go away. Last night I had a sore throat, too, and forgot to wear a scarf. I slept with the heat on in my cozy room under a quilt my mom made, and that seemed to do the trick, too. And at the moment, I'm eating some steamy vegetable soup. The real home remedy in the United States is to eat chicken soup (I think research really has been done on this, and chicken contains some chemical that helps you get better faster), but since we've already established that I don't consume anything that has or had eyes (except potatoes), that's off limits. So instead I just made some soup with carrots, zucchini, tofu, red pepper, some little noodles, peas and some broth, and this also always seems to help clear my airways. Now if only I had a vaporizer to steam up my room at night, I'd be as good as new tomorrow.

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