Every time I travel, I get sick. I don’t know if my immune system sees the airplane and thinks, “time for vacation!” or if I’m meeting unfamiliar viruses, or what, but it always, without fail, happens. This time the obligatory illness hit me about 2 weeks after landing in country.
I knew it was coming for me on Wednesday, when I was super thirsty all day, no matter how much water I drank. Thursday my throat was scratchy. Friday I had no voice. So Friday-Saturday-Sunday, I laid low. At least, as low as I could justify with snow forecasted 4/7 days of the following week.
What “laying low” means in a dorm in Russia:
- Tea. Probably about two liters a day, plus also a liter of water and half-liter of apple-pear juice.
- Bread. Without butter or anything, because you’re sick, so why should you bother preparing food?
- Books. Specifically, Anna Karenina on my Kindle. 23% of the way through! (At this rate, I may also get to tackle War and Peace by Christmas… but maybe I’ll pick up a mystery novel instead.)
- Tissues. Well, toilet paper. Because I haven’t seen a single box of tissues since getting to Russia, and I’ve been in many home goods stores and paper-product sections of convenience stores. I guess that’s an American thing?
- Socks. Always. And if you leave your room without socks, babushka-down-the-hall reprimands you for wearing only sandals, because don’t you know you’re sick and not wearing socks will make your throat hurt more than it already does? #babushkalogic
- Movies. Also TV shows. The list for this weekend included Dead Poets Society, The Sandlot, Минионы (Minions in Russian), and several Russian children’s programs.
Just watch this and tell me it’s not wonderful (I even found it with English subtitles for you, so you have to watch it) (EDIT: to see subtitles, hover over the bottom of the video, click the little gear, click CC/Subtitles, click English):
I did end up going out to the grocery store (lentils! I found lentils!) and to this cafe called Matreshka that serves blini, salad, soup, and everything wonderful for very low prices. More on that later. But mostly I stayed inside and recouped.