Cultural Differences, Food, Republic of Georgia, Village Life

Cure for the Georgian Cold

Saturday afternoon in Georgia. 2:09 PM my time. 3:09 AM California time. You are all blissfully sawing Z’s. Or you should be.

It continues to rain. Big sheets of rain being blown around by the wind. I observe this from bed, from under my 3 ½ blankets and hooded sweatshirt. I just made a trip downstairs to the bathroom. A trip I do not make lightly, especially in this weather.

I am sick. A nasty cold and cough. I feel the inevitable creep of this condition down, down, down towards my lungs. Hello bronchitis? My stash of supplies for this eventuality somehow got left out of my luggage. So now my only defense is lemons, water, and sleep. My mother has lectured me on going to see a doctor if it gets any worse. I cannot express how little I want to have that experience. When a fellow teacher got sick, the doctor told her to drink lots of coffee, wine and cognac. Yes, that was the recommendation of a medical doctor. See why I don’t want to go see one?

I spent most of the weekend downstairs by the wood-burning stove, which remains the only heat source in the house. Once the sun goes down my second-floor room is only just bearable under my blankets. My pockets were being perpetually empited of snotty tissues  and refilled with fresh tissue. My Nalgene was with me always in case of a coughing fit.

In Kutaisi last weekend I bought a box of tissues. I was very excited about this because I have not seen any in my town. Really should’ve bought two as it is almost gone now. Not sure what I will do in their absence. I am not eager to embrace the cloth handkerchief, regardless of how evironmentally friendly it may be.

In town, my host family took me to a pharmacy and helped me buy something for my cough. An act of faith since all the packaging is written in Russian. They also encouraged me to drink a lot of wine at dinner. Didn’t make the connection until later. I thought it was because the kids’ greatgrandmother was visiting. And they were much pushier about me having some vodka too. (Probably thought it was a good substitue for cognac). They were always checking to make sure I have taken my mysterious Russian  medicine, which I always had. Believe me, I am most anxious to feel completely well.

Sunday morning after breakfast I watched dumbfounded as the rain turned to snow and began to carpet the yard. October 31st. My Halloween treat. In the afternoon I had a brief snowball skirmish with the kids. Teo managed to shove a snowball in my face when I was not paying attention. Twice. I only got her back once. But I know there will be plenty more snow to come.

I played checkers with Giorgi and managed to beat him twice. (Yes, my pride is intact. I beat an 8-year old at checkers.) I hung around the stove and ate chestnuts hot out of the oven. Like the “chestnuts roasting on an open fire” of the song. I had never had a chestnut before I came to Georgia. Pretty good actually.

I continue to sniffle and occassionally cough as I finish this post off. Sunday’s snow is melting in the yard. Apparently only a preview of coming events. Hopefully my Russian medicine will work its magic and kill my cough. If not there is always plenty of wine, coffee, and vodka at my house . . .