What is cold?

Oh this beautiful winter weather here in Madrid, Spain. Most days it feels like Spring. A freezing average of 45 degrees fahrenheit and let me tell you, this cold sends Madrileños in search of hats, gloves, scarves and heavy duty coats. This winter thus far has brought one day of snow (On Thanksgiving!), a couple weeks of rain and countless days of beautiful sunshine (as you can see in the photo below). Those of you from anywhere else in the world might snicker a bit at these innocent Spaniards who really have no true idea what winter is. These same Spaniards who may or may not have experienced a true winter also have an interesting idea as to how a person becomes sick. Lucky me, I seem to lack an immune system, so I have been getting sick a lot lately (That’s a link to my boring tale of my adventures with Spanish doctors). Anyways, me getting sick leads Spaniards to analyze what I was doing and the reason that I may or may not be sick. Now, this isn’t to say that all Spaniards believe this, but the lovely few that I call my friends all seem to have the same general notion as to how one becomes sick.


So, how does one get sick in Spain? You get sick in Spain because “He/has cogido frío” can be translated as “I/You got cold”…or literally, “I/You caught cold”…this phrase is something that you start to hear when the weather starts getting cold and people start getting sick. What in the world can getting cold have to do with anything? In Madrid, it has to do with EVERYTHING!

So getting sick could not possibly be runny nosed toddlers or first graders with whom I come into contact on a daily basis. Perhaps “germs”? No way. Not here in Spain. Then what made me sick? Chances are if you ask a Spaniard they will tell you that you have a sore throat because, “A lo mejor es porque has cogido frío de la garganta”. PIENSO QUE NO WAY DUDE. This basically means, “You have a sore throat because your throat got cold”. With that being said, it also means that any particular part of my body that may be hurting was exposed to cold air and thus now, that part of my body hurts. My first reaction is to say “I hate you”. That’s my first instinct, I don’t know why, I just find it really hard to believe that I have a sore throat from not wearing a scarf. I remember that one time when I grew up in the Midwest, oh yeah those 23 very cold, actually wintery winters where I cogido a bunch of frío and never got sick from it. So weird that now all the sudden I’m living in Madrid (or the Antarctic as they may see it) and I am getting sick from being cold. *chirp*chirp*

Not to mention, this “getting cold” thing doesn’t only apply to exposing your neck or face when getting sore throats or runny noses. No, no friends. This applies to all vulnerable body parts. Perhaps one day I don’t wear slippers/socks, I may hear, “Ohhhhh nooooo! VAS A COGER FRÍO DE LOS PIES!”…I’m gonna, what? Who? My feet are going to get cold and then I am going to get sick? LA LA LA I don’t believe you! All I know is that it’s not true!

You do not have a sore throat because your neck got cold! End. of. Story.

Now, that being said, I have been sick a bunch but to be honest. I have yet to feel truly cold in Madrid. We went to Chicago over Christmas, and there, there is where I truly felt cold, but I didn’t get sick in Chicago. Only in Madrid. Perhaps my appendicitis scare was because my appendix got cold? We may never know. All I know is that there are all kinds of germs in Madrid that my body hates and instead of wearing a scarf, maybe I could wear a mask to protect against germs like they do in China?

No scarf, no hat. Didn't get sick and Hawks won. This is what life should be like! #chicago
No scarf, no hat. Didn’t get sick and Hawks won. This is what life should be like! #chicago

What do you believe causes someone to get sick? Do you have any beliefs that you think will cure you when you are feeling bad?

The thing that I say when people tell me they have a head ache or that they are tired is, “Are you thirsty? Have you drank water? You are dehydrated.” That could come from countless years at summer camp, but I still think it’s true. When you have a really bad headache, it can surely be cured with a couple glasses of water!



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