Thursday, December 20, 2012

Home Remedies

I am not a big fan of doctors and medical stuff, which is quite different from the Japanese who seem to go to the doctor for everything.  Recently in English class, we had a lesson on medical examinations in our book. Afterwards, I had them pair off and I gave each pair an “ailment” such as hiccups, stomachache, headache, toothache, cold.  I asked them to make a list of home remedies for their problems.  They didn’t know what I was asking.  I said, what would your mother tell you to do if you had this problem?  Their mothers would tell them to go to the doctor.  So I said, what would you do if you couldn’t go to the doctor right away?  “Home remedies” was definitely a strange idea for them.  For cold, they told me eat ice cream and drink sports drink.  Having a cold and feeling cold are difficult concepts.  For stomachache, all they could think of was go to the toilet.  Japan doesn’t seem to have over the counter medications. No one knew what Pepto-bismol and ibuprofen are.  The hiccups pair had good answers – scare yourself, stop your breath, and drink water with your head down.  That’s probably the only thing they don’t go to the doctor for. 

Ted has been feeding the birds the sunflower seeds we grew in our garden. Yesterday morning he swept the snow off the balcony railing and put out the food.  The snow covered up the food very shortly.  I don’t know how the little birds stay alive with all this snow in Hokkaido.

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