Alright, we’re picking up from where we left off last week! Like I mentioned last week, it is really easy to get sick in college, especially when in a different country. So, while at LCC, what do you do when you get sick?
- Soup: Much like American culture, soup seems to be thought as a good way of recovering from illness. And fortunately, soup is a major part of Lithuanian cuisine! Everything from the cold beet soup, also known as pink soup, to potato soups, and plenty of stews. Ask your roommates what soups or stews they eat when they’re sick, and if you seem sick enough, they might even make it for you!
- Pharmacy: Almost every grocery store has a pharmacy (which in Lithuanian is
vaistinė) that holds the basics of what you’ll need. Most likely, you’ll end up with the college cold, which isn’t serious. It’s just miserable and will definitely hinder your ability to get the most of your experience. Now, everything will be in Lithuanian, so download the language to your Google translate app so you can read the labels, but most people in the younger generations are able to speak English. They should be able to help you find what you need.
- Traditional Cold Remedies: Every country and every culture has its traditional remedies that have been passed down through the generations, based on what they have in the local area. For Lithuania, that is honey and herbal teas. First of all, honey in Lithuania tastes significantly better than honey in the United States. Don’t know why that’s the case, but it’s the truth. Honey serves as a natural antibiotic that tastes really good and soothes the throat. Mix it with herbal tea, especially kumelīte (chamomile) tea. Cranberries also seem to be considered valuable for fighting off infection. Then, finally, there’s garlic. Now, you could just consume the garlic in kepta duona (fried bread with garlic and cheese sauce), but that’s probably not the most helpful. According to my research on cold remedies here in the Baltics, eating raw garlic is encouraged, but maybe just mix it in with other foods. Or, ask your roommates and floormates what their grandmothers would recommend! You would undoubtedly get lots of good cold remedies.
Now, if you managed to follow the suggestions from last week’s post, you shouldn’t ever get sick (in theory!) and won’t need to follow this advice, but if you do, fear not. Every challenge is an opportunity to learn and to grow. Illnesses in a different country are periods of vulnerability that do make things more difficult. Yet in that same time, this vulnerability creates an opening for strengthening relationships with the people and culture around you. In that way, you become part of the local culture in a way that we weren’t before.