House Slippers and Other Reasons I am Sick

Despite the reasons I might believe I am sick such as I work at a germy school that doesn’t have soap in the bathroom or the maid, Dalika, doesn’t cover her mouth when she coughs, really this is what the Georgians keep telling me. I am sick because . . .

1. I don’t wear my house slippers all the time. You are supposed to get home, take off your shoes and put on your slippers. Sometimes I forget and walk around in my socks. If I’m just in my bedroom I might even be barefoot. My host family will all look at me like I’m crazy when they see my naked feet and immediately demand I put slippers on. 2

. I wear short sleeved sweaters. I have a couple sweaters that I wear on sunny days or when I know the school will be heated. For some reason this is not a good idea even though the outside temperature is usually in the 30s and even low 40s on those days. It always makes me giggle to think of what they’d say if they saw all the Wisconsin kids wearing flip-flops in six inches of snow. That surely makes you more cold than wearing short sleeves. 3

. I take a shower in the morning. I don’t really understand the reasoning behind this because I’ve only gotten the comment once. Shannon, the other Poti, volunteer says her family harps about it a lot. I guess having wet hair in the morning allows germs to infect you easier. I would like to point out that most Georgians don’t have curly hair. They have no idea what trials I go through to tame my hair even a little while living next to the sea and in the humid air here.

The cold that I currently have seems to be the same one that everyone has been passing around for the last three weeks. The sinus pressure was bad enough for me that on Thursday I stayed home from school. When I arrived at school on Friday for my two lessons, my co-teacher first demanded to know where I was yesterday. I had texted her the morning before school started. The school was also contacted. I don’t think this teacher has ever missed a day of school even when she was terribly ill. This teacher was also one of the first to get the cold earlier this month, perhaps it’s her germs that got me sick. I told her that I was felling better and didn’t want to miss school. Since I wasn’t coughing anymore, I figured the potential for me passing germs had become more limited. Telling her I was still sick was a mistake. She kept telling me to go home and sleep and feel better. I couldn’t tell if she just didn’t want me in class with her or she really thought I looked sick and miserable. I will continue to drink tea and orange juice and plenty of fluids (happy mom?). I didn’t go traveling this weekend like planned so I could rest and recuperate. I think I’ll be able to beat this nasty bug soon. All I’ll have to do is buy some soap for the school.

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