Saturday, December 11, 2010

More nuggets from Russia

The things you learn while living in Russia! A few ideas I've encountered lately have been eye-opening.

1) Opening your mouth outside when it's cold can make you sick. I observed a mother on the street telling her crying child to close his mouth because it was cold outside! From what I figure, it's pretty annoying to have dried tears, etc. frozen onto your face. And I guess it's not very good for your vocal cords to be breathing cold air a lot. But I don't know if it really makes you sick per se.

2) You're not supposed to rub your belly when you're pregnant because it could squish the unborn baby or traumatize him or something. I didn't really understand the explanation, and I've never been pregnant, but sounds kind of silly to me. Anyone?

3) Changes in barometric pressure make people feel yucky and depressed. read more/-

I had just finished a shower singing session when I heard sobs coming from my flatmate's room. Worried that someone had died, I nervously stuck my head around the corner to where she was lying in bed.

"It hurts so bad." Okay, someone/something had broken her heart? (it happens)

"The pressure." O-kay. I have heard people walking around muttering something about "the pressure," but I never really took it seriously.

Yulia described it as feeling like she was a rag being twisted and squeezed and wrung out. I was still rather in the dark about what the problem was, but I said some of my friends got headaches (migraines) so bad they couldn't do anything. Yulia said her head didn't hurt. I still didn't understand exactly what hurt, but she said everyone always thought was making it up, so I tried to be sympathetic.

Then I read about barometric pressure headaches on the Internet, and it does seem to affect some people, although I hadn't heard about it before. I suppose the people wandering around muttering "the pressure, the pressure" really are suffering, even if the cause isn't completely understandable.


  1. Yeah you hear alot of "stories" about what NOT to do while pregnant. My fav., is that you not suppose to take really hot bath because baby will die. Smart Rus., do not take it seriously.

  2. Also, if you don't have your coat buttoned all the way or are not otherwise sufficiently bundled up (for a kid this means that you cannot move, like the kid in A Christmas Story), you will get sick. Or if you're near a cross-draft. Or if you sit on concrete, your insides will catch cold and you will become infertile. Or if you drink cold water or a drink with ice, you'll get sick.
    If you do all of these at once, man, you're DOOMED!

    I stopped by to post this youtube video....reminds me of your residency permit saga....

  3. Thanks for the link, Jessica! :) It's pretty funny and I can't believe I'm watching cartoons at 1am!

  4. LOL Rubbing your belly? :) The thing about breathing through your mouth though, that I could believe. We get cold in NH, though not as cold as in Russia, and I find that when I go outside on one of those bitingly-freezing days and breathe through my mouth, I immediately start to cough. I've always taken that as a warning and remembered to breathe through my nose, but I could see getting sick from it. Giving that bitter air a direct line to my lungs doesn't seem so wise. My nose is designed to warm and moisten the air anyway, so I'd just as soon use it the way God intended. :)


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