Medical advice

Have you ever found that when you’re ill with a cold or flu, you’ll try doing anything to get rid of it… Including following the advice of friends, family or colleagues, who often suddenly believe themselves to be medical experts, when faced with a willing “patient”!

While living in China, the advice I received for any illness was to “drink hot water and wear more clothes”, regardless of the season, weather or actual illness! When something more stringent is needed to fight off an infection, you might be advised to drink herbal tea (one such tea that my students loved tasted like mud to me!), vinegar (yuck!) or make up a lovely remedy involving ginger. My favourite of these is boiling Coca Cola or Pepsi with ginger. It tastes good and makes your sore throats/colds feel much better. On Sunday, I had totally lost my voice, and it’s been slowly returning thanks to drinking hot ginger Pepsi every day! (I also went to the doctor to get antibiotics, just in case, as I have a lovely infection.)

Of course, as well as giving advice on how to cure your cold/ flu, you will also find many helpful friends, colleagues and family members who will enjoy speculating as to how you got ill in the first place. In Romania, I find the reasons that people give for how you got sick most amusing. In fact, air conditioning, a cold draft of air from an open window, or walking outside when the temperature is less than 18 degrees Celsius is the cause of most illnesses in Romania (according to many people I’ve met here, who think having small children coughing, sneezing on me and using me as a tissue all day long has nothing to do with it…)

Incidentally, Romanian remedies are just as fun as Chinese ones. They include eating raw garlic (yuck), eating soup, staying inside (with the windows closed of course) and drinking “onion tea” (I am yet to try this, as I find the thought of a cup full of onions and hot water somewhat repulsive!)

A lovely thing about being ill in China, was that many of my students would bring fruit or herbal teas to my apartment to help me get better. (Indeed, I would often be “fruit bombed” by enthusiastic students even when I was not ill. I call it “fruit bombing” because they would see me, greet me, throw an apple or banana at me and run off, before I had a chance to politely refuse the gift.) So far, no one in Romania has done this… it’s such a shame, having to buy my own fruit again! ūüėú

Brasov in the rain

At the weekend I went on the train to a nearby town named Brasov in Transylvania. The town has a long history and has retained a lot of it’s old charm and character. It even looks lovely in the rain -perfect for this week’s topic of Water

It was just a shame that I was quite ill for the whole weekend… oh well, I can always go again. ūüėÉ 

The Village Musuem 

On Saturday I went to one of my favourite places in Bucharest- the Village Museum. It has a large collection of traditional houses from all over Romania, it’s so interesting to see how people lived in the past -and I’m sure that you can still find people living in houses like these in many rural villages in Romania.

The museum is so peaceful and tranquil, I love wandering around and imagining what it would be like to live in one of these houses. It fills me with a sense of Nostalgia somehow…

Sightseeing in Bucharest

The last time I was in Romania was around 3 and a half years ago, so I’ve really been appreciating the wonderful sights of Bucharest -especially on this lovely, sunny day after work!

Not much has changed since I left, there are a few new shopping malls, and less stray dogs, but that’s about all… The city still has the same quaint charm for me, it’s a friendly sort of place, and I find the contrasts between the building styles interesting. There are many run-down, dilapidated areas, next to traditional Romanian buildings, communist style tower blocks and shiny new malls.

The city’s roads are crammed full of noisy buses and cars, and Bucharest is full of high-rise buildings -so the city’s numerous parks provide plenty of opportunity for relaxation for the residents. 

I want to visit the village museum next to see some traditional houses -how Romanians used to live, before coming to the big, bustling city! 

In Bucharest

So, now I’m in Bucharest, I’ve been here for one week and so far it’s been pretty hectic settling into my new school and work routine (hence not having any time for blog posts recently). Bucharest doesn’t seem to have changed much since I was last here (about four years ago) and my old friends and new colleagues have been really helpful, so in some ways it’s been quite easy to settle into being back here again. Although, I am of course finding various challenges along the way. Here are some photos of my school (yes, I teach in an old mansion!) and the park -my favourite place to go after work to relax.