I rarely get sick, but today it was 6:00 p.m. before I could stand still long enough without sneezing to brush my teeth.
I’ve never been more homesick than I was when I got sick in Cuba. Americans like and expect to be left alone when they are sick. Evidently, this is not universally true. I kept waking up to find myself the focus of a crowd of people speaking Spanish very fast and handing me mysterious potions and pills. Surrounding my bed were not only the members of the household where I was staying, but aunts, cousins, neighbors, the pastora, the doctora and the pharmacia, too. A young man picked up my leg and started rubbing my calf very hard; all the while asking, “Te duele?” (which means “Does it hurt?”) Being the polite American I am, I kept saying “No,” even though it really, really hurt. It found out later that particular folk cure involves rubbing the leg very hard until it hurts. I was trying to be nice, but I inadvertently insulted his manhood by claiming he wasn’t hurting me.
A friend of mine came to my window later and I said, “I thought you were sick too.” He said, “I was. But I had to get well to get away from all those cures.”
That was my strangest experience of being sick. What’s yours?