“It’s the end of February, says my good friend Sarah, and you haven’t had the flu this year even once, while I had it three times!!!”
 
I turned around discreetly and knocked my knuckle on the wooden table! Would Sarah be happier if I would share the flu with her?
 
Maybe. But before I can ask her, she gets up and leaves to do her shopping in the mini-market. I remain seated and bring back the memory of my last year’s cold, or was it even the flu?
 
What can be worse than spending a week in bed surrounded by pills, boxes of Kleenex which I exchanged for kitchen towels soon, and a diet of hot milk and honey which tastes really awful and makes me wonder why our own country is often referred to as the land of milk and honey, did the referrers ever taste that nasty cocktail?
 
I remember that I had some fever, but nothing to worry about I was sure. I went to see our doctor hoping that he’ll say it’s nothing, not to worry, I can go on with my life..
 
“Look, I told him, if I would go out into the fresh air for a while, the flu would be gone in a minute!”
“No fresh air! He said and smiled at me, you go back home and to bed!”
“Maybe a bit of swimming? I had an aunt who said the only cure against a cold is swimming in the sea! I could swim in the pool a bit!
“Pills, hot tea and back to bed!” said the man who I thought was my friend.
“But what about the sauna? The heat should certainly help!” I insist.
“Seems that you and I did not go to the same medical school, said the man I used to trust,
so you do as I say because if you don’t, I’ll send you to the hospital!"
 
I went home completely dejected, depressed and in the worst mood one can imagine.
 
I looked into the mirror and was horrified to notice that my nose had increased by double its size and was now purple colored, a shade that I didn’t know exists at least not for noses!
 
My hair was standing up in spikes, the kind that hippy teenagers are so fond of, and it needed to be washed urgently.
 
I picked up the phone and called my hairdresser.
 
“You sound funny, he said, do you have a cold?”
“Well, yes, but I promise you by Wednesday it will be gone!”
“You can’t come here even with the cold gone! Wait another week!”
 
Life was bad. I received a lot of sympathy and compassion by phone. My friend Esther, who has had countless adventures with the flu and is full of experience, told me:
 
“Now go boil some onion rings, mix them with honey, eat this three times a days, and you will be cold-less in three days!
 
Her advice really rendered me speechless imagining how onions and honey would taste.. Then I asked her:

”Will this work with garlic too?”
“You and your jokes! Well if you want to continue being sick, just don’t do what I tell you!”
 
The moment came when I was totally claustrophobic, I went down to the lobby and sat down in a far corner all by myself surrounded by millions of malevolent germs, feeling like a pariah, or a leper.. People who by now knew of my cold, made a big circle around me and just waved from a safe distance.
 
I had forgotten to take my kitchen towels with me so I jumped up and went back home. on foot because I wanted to keep at least the elevator as germ-free as possible.
 
My friend Rachel called and I immediately started to tell her how miserable I felt.
 
“Wait, wait, you don’t even want to know why I called? You will cheer up immediately when you hear about me! I broke my leg yesterday, I am now in a plaster cast, I can’t move much and I have to wrap it in plastic sheet to have a shower. And this will last 6 weeks. My devoted husband simply leaves the house out of compassion because he can’t watch me suffer! Now…what did you say about your cold?”
 
I did not say anymore! There are times when one is grateful for nothing worse than a cold!
 
But all this was last year, so this year I am Sara’s object of envy! Thank God.
 
Lucca


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