I Moved To Oaxaca

Sunday, December 14, 2003

One week to go until I taste the fog.

It’s only Saturday night but I foresee a very quiet weekend. Why? In yoga during the meditation period everybody bundles up in sweatshirts, socks, and rebozos or shawls – except me; I just stretch out in my t-shirt and bare feet. Well, yeah, and my pants. Only Thursday night I was cold. I was also coughing a bit. By Friday it was clear that I had come down with something. Again. For those of you keeping score I believe that puts me up to four illnesses since mid-July. Oh, and too bad I had three classes Friday. I dragged my hacking, feverish ass to school, did my lessons (ah, thank you DVD! the sick teacher’s helper) and stumbled home, shivering and chattering my teeth in the bold Oaxacan-winter sun. I felt slightly better this morning, but that didn’t last after three hours of cajoling small children into memorizing their Amazing Animal Facts for the big end-of-school hoopla next week.

I guess it goes without saying that Greg didn’t sleep too well last night, what with me coughing and fussing all night. So he took a nap as soon as we got home, and when he woke up … headache and tingling skin. Uh-oh. Could be a sad, sad week coming up. If I get out to the Internet café tomorrow to post this I will consider it a major accomplishment.

I guess it also goes without saying that because of my cold I missed the big day at the fiesta in the llano. Bummer. No pink flamingo nativity ornament, no spray-painted poster, no taquitos, memelitos, tlayudas. No more chocolate atole or crazy-looking dulces regionales.

But I did get an unexpected taste of Oaxaca yesterday and today. Earlier in the week Manuel was feeling just terrible, but because of all the make-up classes, had dragged his ass to work instead of staying home where he belonged. I think he felt worse than I did. But he was looking his usual perky self Thursday, and when he saw me Friday, he said that Patricia hold him to mix coffee and vapo-rub and apply it to the bottoms of his feet, behind his knees, and in the crease of his elbows, and that Liz had recommended a tea of garlic and cinnamon, strongly brewed. Fixed him right up, he said. I asked Greg to stop at the farmacia and get some vapo-rub, and he slathered the soles of my feet with it and some coffee – a nice, warm sensation. I didn’t dare try it on my knees or elbows for fear of setting off one hellacious eczema reaction, but I put some on my chest and collapsed back into bed. I’m not sure it helped, but it didn’t hurt.

Today we tried the garlic and cinnamon tea. It was … interesting. Not as horrible as I expected, at least when drunk hot. Will it help? Probably more helpful are the regular infusions of Tylenol, and fixing a bowl of macaroni and cheese today. Other than some cookies at work and a couple of wheat tortillas at home, it’s the first real food I’ve had since Thursday. If someone had told me back in April that I’d have far more trouble with upper-respiratory infections than with GI upset, I wouldn’t have believed them.

So we’ve been sitting here, G-man and I, watching DVDs: Lilo & Stitch, Malcolm In The Middle. I’m just going to wait for the latest dose of Tylenol to kick in then go back to sleep.


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