Ways to get sick in Russia

The Lake with Grandpa

This weekend my 5 year old son and I went on “spring break” to my parent’s house. One of the days my Dad took us up the canyon, to a lake, to a small farm, and to a small museum. My son and my dad threw a lot of rocks in the river and lake, and driftwood sticks into the lake as well. My dad let my son get his shoes and socks and pants all wet, even though the water was freezing and the day was only tepid. I had extra shoes in the car and it wasn’t a big deal. This made me thankful that a. I had parents that let me get wet and cold on occasion, and b. that my MIL wasn’t with us. She would have freaked out. Which brings me to the real meat of the story. Apparently there are different ways to get sick in different cultures.

Ways to get sick in America:

  • bacteria
  • viruses
  • food poisoning

Ways to get sick in Russia:

  • wet feet
  • wind in your ears/ face
  • wet hair
  • playing in cold water
  • not wearing a hat in temperatures less than 50 degrees F
  • drinking cold drinks
  • drinking drinks with ice (wow did they think I was crazy when I did this in Russia!)
  • putting ice on sore muscles, especially the neck or back
  • taking a cool shower or bath
  • swimming in cool water
  • eating certain foods when sick – for example, if you have a sore throat don’t eat nuts
  • sitting on cement (it either has to do with the colder temperature of cement, even in extreme heat or “radiation” from the cement itself, I’ve received two stories on this – and it’s equally bad for prostates and ovaries)
  • letting your privates get cold in the winter – especially children – tights, long johns, etc. required
  • not wearing enough layers in the cold
  • an infant not being wrapped and layered to the point of heat rash – no I am not exageratting
  • eating certain foods with alcohol
  • not eating enough fish, soup, tea, or warm cereal – all extrememely bad for lifelong stomach issues – for example, if a child refuses to eat soup he will have digestive issues when he grows up
  • playing with animals such as cats or dogs

Please note, there are no “germs”, “viruses”, or “bacteria” on the second list. When I tell my MIL we have a virus she just shakes her head in disbelief and tells her husband she doesn’t understand why we have so many viruses in this country. She also doesn’t understand why I let my son do crazy things like play with the hose in the summer – he is “going to get sick” and then for the next 7 days if he is stuffy from his allergies or anything I have to hear about how his “nose is closed” for hours. Letting him play in the lake is close to child abuse. Interesting enough they DO wash their hands a lot. Especially when returning to the house from being out. I am not sure why they do this since they don’t seem to believe in germs…..

I baby sat a girl of about 10 after school last year. She would go to school in a tanky top, a t-shirt, a turtle neck and a sweater, underpants, tights, pants, 2 layers of socks (one long) and boots which she wasn’t allowed to change inside. Plus her coat, hat, gloves, and scarf. I asked her once if she ever got cold in class. They seem to keep my son’s classroom very warm in the winter. She said yes, but if she takes off her sweater she gets in trouble. I simply can’t imagine. Isn’t that the point of layers? To take them off and add them as needed? Even the boys wear tights – they have cute ones in boys colors over there. I suppose I will just keep on abusing my child by dressing him in a t-shirt and sweater and jeans (no tights). Poor kid.


3 thoughts on “Ways to get sick in Russia

  1. My in-laws are from the Carribean , so I understand this one all too well. Worse, when people are sick, they are usually contagous! I gave up on trying to explain that one 🙂

    • Oh yes. I forgot that one. They come to visit when they are sick. It really makes me mad when they go to the hospital to see a new baby or when they come over to a cancer patient’s house when they are sick. They really don’t understand. My MIL’s friend came over for coffee one day because she was “off work”. Turns out she was off because she was too sick to work. Go to bed!

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