In an effort to get this ship steered away from the River Plate and back to the Dnipr, I'm going to post something that I've been meaning to get to for a while now. That would be the...well absolutely insane beliefs Ukrainians have concerning personal health and well-being. This came to me after having a conversation yesterday with a local regarding cold remedies and made me think of two other examples of insanity I have come across. When reading the below, keep in mind that these are medical opinions held by educated professionals over here, not some peasants I've run into driving to Cherkassy.
In order to ensure the ability to reproduce, under no circumstances should women of child-bearing age sit on stone surfaces. The coldness of the stone obviously saps fertility straight from your loins.
2) Illness Prevention
This is a biggy. Everyone over here knows that the easiest way to get sick is to subject yourself to drafts. For example; a guy that works for us pinched a nerve in his shoulder while he was repainting his apartment. The obvious cause of this (to him) was the fact that his apartment window was open while he was painting. Another girl that works for us came into the office with a sty on her eye. Her stated cause of this sty? Obviously, the window near her head was open a crack as she slept. Drafts again! Under no circumstances should a window be open. In an un-airconditioned train in the middle of summer? Better not open that window to cool off. You'll make everyone else in your coupe' sick.
3) Healing a Cold
Been exposed to that nasty blowing fresh air and consequently come down with a cold? No fear, there are easy remedies to cure it. Take a small piece of onion, lightly wrap this onion in gauze, and then place it in your ear. Leave in place while the onion dries out. The fumes from the onion will kill the illness causing bacteria in your head. Got a really bad case of the grippe? Substitute garlic for the onion. According to some people over here, this method works exceptionally well with children who refuse medicine.
Mother: "Oh no, Junior won't take a spoonful of his bubble-gum flavored 'Tussin or eat his Winnie the Pooh shaped vitamin!"
Dad: "Well, I guess we'll just have to put the onion in his ear, he seems to like that better."
Expect this to be another continuing series, as well as a chapter in the sporadic "Russians/Ukrainians/Slavs are crazy series.