Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Alex, I'll take beespit for 1,000. Or which way does the runny nose go in South America?

Down, the runny nose goes down. Here we call it romadizo if we're in polite company, congestión if we don't want to allude to the nose blowiness of it all (or if none is necessary), or we talk about mocos if we're with kids or want to be a little yucky. You'll be happy to know that the word flema exists as well, and I'm not even going to tell you what it means, as I'm sure you can figure it out for yourself. (hint, switch out the f for a ph...).

So, I got a code. Stuffed dose. This happens once every, oh, I don't know, 18 months or so, and the trick, I find (for me) is to drown in whatever sounds good to drink (which in my case is usually not juice because juice reminds me of something very foul which I will not mention unless prodded), sleeping alot, remaining bundled and warm, and waiting. I suppose if I had a television or was prone to watching it (or the four, count 'em four movies I have recently been loaned by friends), I would do that. Alas, even when I'm under the weather, I'm a little spinny. And I'd rather read. In fact, this morning I read Jamaica Kinkaid's Lucy. It was beautiful. Easy to follow (important since I have the dumb right now) and short. So yeah, that's on the "give-away-or-trade" bookshelf that you see on your left when you first come in the apartment, though it's been a bit depleted since I handed off a few books to Mamaj when she was here).

I've also been working, because hey, they make me do that (well, I make me do that), and drinking up the last sachets of my cold-specific brebages from the states and Perú. From the states I had echinacea and goldenseal, which are great because in addition to tasting like weeds, they come with fortunes, like this one "If you believe you can, you will succeed." I mean, who doesn't need that when they're feeling coldish? The one from Perú just tastes like eucalyptus mostly, and claims to be gripal, or for the grippe, which just makes me happy I don't have cataracts and catarrh (Pippin reference intentional) to boot.

Chile doesn't have any cold-specific tea, though there are formulations of sachets that you can take with hot water like the US-sold Theraflu, and pills of many varieties (but none of them as lovely as sudafed, in its speedy, speedy way). Trioval is one people like, as well as Tapsin. I don't really buy the "masking the symptoms" meds unless you have a phone interview or something like I do this afternoon, for which I might dig out a tiny red pill. Which maybe should be a Matrix reference, but I still haven't seen it (see spinny, above).

What Chile does have (in addition to 1001 remedies for a stomach ache, which we shall explore at another time) is propoleo. Propoleo, or propolys, is some kind of bee-derivative, possibly from their jaws or salivary glands or who knows where. It's a natural antibiotic, and it comes in spray, tincture (to be eye-droppered into a glass of water, whereupon it turns a bilious yellow, the better to drink it all up), and even candies. I haven't asked how they get it out of the bees, and truthfully don't need to know. I just droppa droppa droppa, throw it back and feel the little bee antibodies doing their thing.

And I try not to think about Jerry Seinfeld. Because even though I'm not much of a movie watcher, I do love my niece, and since she wanted to see that movie, we all went and gave it a bug-eyed whirl, thumbs' down notwithstanding.

I'm off to dream of hexagons and the bees that live in them. And leave you with the words abeja (bee), polen (pollen) miel (honey), jalea real (royal jelly) enjambre (swarm), and colmena (hive). Add that to your daily dose of Spanish vocab.

And here's one more (all together): Mejorate luego! (get well soon).



Abby said...

Even when you're sick you make me laugh.

Feel better soon!!

Lauren said...

Propoleo is amazing stuff. Propolis in English. It's actually nothing from the bees themself but a resinous substance that they use to line and protect their hives. It has been studied at length and has a number of amazing properties. I'm doing a trial study on it's use in cases of genital condilomas - yes, warts, lovely I know - at the moment because seriously, it works magic on the patients. Also good for a lot of run-of-the-mill health issues for those of us without warts :P

Oh, and I've been stalking your blog for a little. Consider me delurked.

Feel better!

Bystander said...

Huh! 20 years and I never heard the word "romadizo".
I do know that in Perú it was "constipado" which led to all sorts of misunderstandings!

Eileen said...

@ abby, thanks!

@ lauren, thanks for the spelling correction, and I honestly believe proplis is a marvel, but it is very sticky on the teeth and in the glass. Now I know why! I thought it was produced somehow near the mandible, but I don't know where I got that. People here think it will clear up colds, and I am inclined to agree.

@ margaret, it's possible that it's a southern word, as the friend who says it is from Valdivia/Aysen/Chiloé, but think I've heard it from others as well. It's constipado in Ecuador as well, if memory serves. Fun!

Margaret said...

Hey der. get bedder soon (from one sicko to another)... I'm actually JUST starting to recover from 2 weeks of particularly stubborn cold-yuck... Hopefully the beautiful rain will clean up the air and make us all breathe easier!
PS: I've never heard romadizo either!

Richard said...

Mejorate luego! I see that even a cold hasn't dulled your wit an inch :) I am going to have bees on the brain today.

Eileen said...

@margaret and bystander, do you know each other? I think you'd get along! And for some reason I get you a tiny bit confused sometimes, which is strange, because I know bystander in person, and not margaret, though we're working on it.