Azeris are like Stevie Wonder (very superstitious)
I think it’s fair to say that the lack of scientific knowledge shows itself in rather crude ways here. Within the course of a few days, I got hit with a lot of Azeri folk knowledge. It’s not all bad, but it is interesting.
Luckily for me, the only sickness I’ve had since I’ve been here is getting a runny nose (after going to a wedding party where people were smoking a lot). I came home with the runny nose and my host mom noticed, show she made me a cup of tea–this was great. In addition to that, though, my host brother insisted I put pepper into my tea, because that would help clear out my nasal passages. Fine–this wasn’t too bad. After that, though, my host brother also suggested that I snort a shot of vodka up my nose–this would surely cure my illness. It might work, but I’m not going to try it.
The following day, my host mother suggested to me that I got sick because I took a shower that morning and had wet hair. While I’ve been okay in this department, I’ve got fellow PCTs who have been chased with hair dryers as they are leaving the house. Leaving the house with wet hair will get you sick. Host mom also told me that its probably because I drink room temperature water (which they consider cold). Apparently drinking cold water will get you sick. I reject this thesis. I’ve also heard of PCVs having their fans unplugged repeatedly because having a fan blowing on you will make you sick.
The last one I’ll offer, now, is one that we are always on the lookout for. Women: do not sit on the floor. If you want any chance of having kids (and every woman’s goal in life is to have children), you must not sit on the floor. Why? Because you will freeze your ovaries, of course!