things you never knew you wanted to know

It’s 6AM. The first rays of sun is just hitting an apartment complex here, making the otherwise rather ugly building look quite spiffy. I’m up because of this cold or whatever it is. There might be some little improvement but not much. Spent most of the day yesterday in bed. I’m not going to gripe about this here, because it really is just a minor annoyance … it could always be so much worse. Thinking of this … being sick … led my thoughts back to Sweden.

You guys, who read this blog, have probably gotten to know more about this little Scandinavian country, than you’d ever imagined you would. Like I said somewhere in the introduction to this blog … ‘it’s inevitable that there will be posts about Sweden … differences between North American living and there’. Even though I’ve lived here for seven years, it still sits there — I think the fact that I was ‘of a certain age’ when I moved … almost fifty, makes a difference.

Anyway, I started working in 1972. At that time … had I come down with a cold like this, I’d called in sick and stayed at home … in bed … until I felt that I was fit to go back to work. We could call in sick and stay at home for seven days without seeing a Dr. After the seventh day we had to go see one. This wasn’t just once a year or so … it was as many times as you got sick.The rules are somewhat changed now.

This system, I think, helped maintaining our way of dealing with a cold: Stay in bed … rest … perhaps a bath … but most of all: rest. Not many people were inclined to go to work when they were sick … that was also often frowned upon by your co-workers, because they could catch it too. OR, they would think YOU were thinking that you were irreplaceable, but that’s a whole different story.

Hence, there were not many cold medications in the pharmaciy [which, by the way, are totally different from here]. A few cough syrups perhaps and one or two others that I remember.

When you walk in to the section for cold remedies here in the drug store, it’s like a jungle!!! There seem to be several for each little symptom you might have … not only different brands, so you have to ask yourself … do I have cough, sore throat, cold, flu, mucous … the list goes on. I’m sure you can find one tailor┬ámade for you if you have the patience.

I’ve tried a few since I came here out of curiosity, thinking that there must be something to them as they are so many and seemingly popular. They certainly do something to ease your symptoms, that’s for sure. Most of them will raise your blood pressure too and that’s perhaps not so good. Cough suppressants, I’m a little wary of.

The section for potato chips and soft drinks in the grocery store is almost like the cold remedies in the drug store! There is nothing else in the grocery store that is so elaborate …. the choice of potato chips is immense! Still, after all these years, when I’m used to the choice of everything, the aisle with potato chips baffles me.

After having said all that … I think I might just crawl back to bed … or take a pill?! LOL