As Americans, November signals the beginning of the holiday season, Thanksgiving, mid-terms and pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks. As Parisians in training, November has a new significance: the beginning of relentless cold symptoms. Back in California neither of us got sick often – perhaps one killer 24 hour bug and we were done for the year. Thank goodness for that – girl is only into taking natural remedies which leave her smelling like garlic and ginger for days and boy thinks he’s a super hero who refuses to take anything (which prompts really grumpy moods). But times have a’changed, friends. We found ourselves battling sinus infections and the flu six times last winter in Paris. It’s certain our California skin wasn’t prepared for this.
In France, from our observations, there is a completely different relationship with medication than there is in California. Of course, there are numerous factors that contribute to this, namely cost, but it is an interesting phenomenon. Amidst rising insurance costs, the Green Movement and anti-corporation mentality in the Bay Area, it’s more often to find people roaming the vitamin aisle than the pharmacy. In Paris, finding a pharmacy is easier than finding a Starbucks in NYC. And it’s so cheap. Or free. Yup. Free. If our French friends or colleagues see we’ve got the sniffles going on, they always first ask, “have you seen the doctor?” Um, what?
Since we’re happy with our old ways, girl is currently fighting off the beginning of a cold with garlic in her ears – an old family remedy for ear aches – and eating boiled ginger. Boy is fighting off the cold (and the smell) by shopping for sweatpants…far away from girl. To each his own!
//Photo: rue des Archives Paris 75003 by Meteorry