I just spotted Olba’s Pastilles at my local Sprouts supermarket. Different packaging than the British version, but certainly the same herbal lozenges we all know and love when you’re feeling under the weather!
I’ve mentioned man flu briefly in a previous post. But I feel it is my public health duty to dedicate a full post to this malady.
For the uninitiated: “Man flu is a crippling and debilitating disorder indiscriminately striking down male members of the human species without warning. The illness is often referred to pejoratively by female members of the species who are in fact immune from the illness as man flu is now known to exclusively attack the XY chromosome carrier. If Man Flu is kind enough not to kill the infected party it will definitely leave him weak, sick, hurting everywhere and in dire need of TLC.”
Sound familiar? Check out www.manflu.info. It has been created to provide assistance for the men who are hapless victims of man flu (and the women who love them).
My first year of living in England, I got sick a few times. Now in my American mind, sick can be a sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy head, fever, Nyquil-swilling cold. Or it can be simply feeling under the weather. Or yes, it can mean a stomach bug.
What I didn’t know then was that in Brit speak, “sick” is vomit. If you tell someone you’ve been sick, it means you’ve literally just vomited (and that’s a graphic detail you probably wouldn’t readily volunteer in the same easy breezy way that you might tell someone you’re under the weather). Sick has very little to do with any kind of non-projectile spewing activity. “Ill” on the other hand is the umbrella Brit term for what we Americans would call “sick.”
And don’t even get me started on the reason Brits drop the “the” when speaking about the hospital. (“He’s been to hospital.” “She’s gone to hospital.” etc.) I still have no idea. If anyone does, please share!
My battle plan is simple: at first signs of a cold, I drop an Airborne in a small cup of water, wait until it stops fizzing and drink. This vitamin-packed tablet always seems to stave off a cold for me if taken early.