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Why do you think it's called a "cold"?
September 25, 2012 9:09 AM   Subscribe

An opinion column: Why do Russians hate ice? (SLNYT)
posted by Nomyte (81 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's not just Russians. Indians are paranoid about ice as well -- if I get a cold, the first question my mom asks me is if I've been drinking water with ice in it. And honestly, I know this will get a lot of opposition from US MeFites, but there is some truth to this in India. I do seem to get a cold much more often after drinking iced water or juice or ice cream in India; whereas in the US there does not seem to be any correlation. I will never get used to Americans advising me to eat ice cream or drink cold orange juice when I have a sore throat though. Somehow, it just seems so wrong.
posted by peacheater at 9:16 AM on September 25, 2012


I don't know, why do Americans put ice in everything, even coffee, regardless of the weather?

The cleanliness thing stands out, having a reliable source of clean, cheap ice seems like it would be a big luxury that Americans have latched on to. My british SO says the only reason he stays in the US is cause of all the ice.
posted by The Whelk at 9:18 AM on September 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


... by inviting my friend Amanda, who long ago shaved her eyebrows off and replaced them with black squiggles that look like Arabic writing

Amanda Palmer?
posted by zippy at 9:19 AM on September 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


I sense a Malcolm Gladwell article, on this, within a few months.
posted by Danf at 9:19 AM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Glad to see the Times is tackling the hard questions.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 9:20 AM on September 25, 2012


The Russian connection is due to the fact that this is a column by a child of immigrants from the USSR about a set of health beliefs common among people of a certain age from that region. I'm sure the actual beliefs are much more widespread (as the — for once! — sane comments at the NYT indicate).

As far as the actual connection between ice and health, that's the province of medical anthropology. Medical anthro is a fascinating field that I know very little about. We recently had an FPP about The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. Think of this as a gentler analog of the same sort of phenomenon. There are lots of people who have these beliefs, so you almost have to work within the framework of these beliefs (regardless of objective accuracy) if you want to move around in these social environments.
posted by Nomyte at 9:23 AM on September 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


I wonder if this ties into the traditional superstitions in Europe about cold and health. This is all remembering, but the idea that things like a cool breeze on the back on the neck making you sick (Italy, if I remember correctly) and sitting on a cold surface making a woman infertile (Easter Europe, not sure of country, maybe?), there seems to be a distrust of the cold.

Also, remember the heat wave in France in 2003 that killed over 14,000 people. The temperatures were in the 40 degree C range (104 F), but people did not know how to rehydrate/cool themselves down. In the US, having so much of the area in southern, blistering hot areas causes an acceptance of ice. It'd be crazy to completely reject ice or at least cold liquids in the southern part of the US in the summer.
posted by Hactar at 9:25 AM on September 25, 2012


There have been several outbreaks of food poisoning traced back specifically to restaurant ice,
posted by louche mustachio at 9:25 AM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


By choosing ice in my beverages, I declare myself Master of Nature and her puny states of matter! I add ice cubes to my boiling tea — both of which I can manufacture at my whim — as a salute to Progress and the Destiny of Man.
posted by Behemoth at 9:26 AM on September 25, 2012 [21 favorites]


I think this is a common phenomenon across Eastern Europe. Here in the Balkans there is a widespread (and in my experience damn-near-universal) fear of both radical changes in temperature and of cold. If people get sick, they will blame a cold beer they drank the week before. Or they'll blame the time they accidentally left a window open for 5 seconds and a cold breeze gently blew on them.

Drinking something with ice is courting danger, at least for many people over here.
posted by Ljubljana at 9:27 AM on September 25, 2012


Yeah, I always saw the ice thing as being similar to the blank-faced horror you get from elderly eastern european relatives when you willingly sit down on cold concrete sidewalks/steps or marble benches. Usually I'm either warned that as a result I will never be able to have children (woo!) or that I will live out the rest of my life as a giant sentient hemorrhoid.
posted by elizardbits at 9:28 AM on September 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


(Italy, if I remember correctly)

Sweater, around the waist, to protect for liver from drafts.

Leaving the window open at night is like declaring yourself suicidal.
posted by The Whelk at 9:29 AM on September 25, 2012


I sense a Malcolm Gladwell article, on this, within a few months.

Adam Gopnik's Five Windows on the Season, already wrote that book.
posted by Fizz at 9:31 AM on September 25, 2012


Swimming in the mediterranean during autumn or winter, even if the weather is sweaty blazing sunlight, means you are either insane or German and either way you will soon be dead. People get very upset when you show up the next day perfectly healthy.
posted by elizardbits at 9:31 AM on September 25, 2012 [6 favorites]


People get very upset when you show up the next day perfectly healthy.

You should tell them Americans have superpowers, like being able to survive minor fluctuations in temperature and consume 4 servings in a single meal.
posted by The Whelk at 9:33 AM on September 25, 2012 [9 favorites]


Don Cherry asks that same question on every Hockey Night in Canada broadcast.
posted by wensink at 9:34 AM on September 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don't like ice myself. When I finish my beverage it is still sitting there. What am I supposed to do with a giant iced coffee cup, now containing only ice, after I drink the coffee. I have to pour the ice out somewhere. When I finish a vodka tonic, the bartender always peers at the glass full of ice, somehow suspicious that I haven't drunk enough of it. When I order a new drink they sometimes even leave the old one there, like I suddenly might want a mouthful of ice. Just take the damn ice away. I don't want glasses full of ice sitting in front me, condensation dripping on the bar making everything wet.

Seriously. Fuck ice. it is 2012 and we still have to put up with this stuff?
posted by Ad hominem at 9:35 AM on September 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


my friend Amanda, who long ago shaved her eyebrows off and replaced them with black squiggles that look like Arabic writing

Yeah I mean this is an astonishing feat of namedropping while pretending not to be namedropping.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 9:36 AM on September 25, 2012 [25 favorites]


Amanda Palmer?

The author is a musician, so quite possibly.
posted by louche mustachio at 9:37 AM on September 25, 2012


I love ice.
posted by ericost at 9:37 AM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


(and by "quite possibly" I mean "duh.")
posted by louche mustachio at 9:38 AM on September 25, 2012


From the green: Will a cold drink on a hot day really make me sick?
posted by purpleclover at 9:41 AM on September 25, 2012


As a person of Ukranian descent: Because it is there.
posted by boo_radley at 9:42 AM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Two Ice-ecdotes:

1. When I was a kid I worked weekends at a Hutterite colony, after a few months of room temperature lemonade I finally gathered up all my 13 year old courage and asked if I could get ice for my drink. The Hutterites laughed and said of course not, I asked why not and was told, in a talking-to-a-slow-child voice "Because we do not like being sick.".

2. My grandmother was a refuge from Russia and saw ice (and pretty much everything else) as a Western extravagance and would put it in our drinks if we insisted but would actually put the ice back in the freezer out of our drinks when we finished.
posted by Cosine at 9:44 AM on September 25, 2012 [8 favorites]


And What misconceptions do I have about health and hygiene?
posted by purpleclover at 9:45 AM on September 25, 2012


In Central America, where the tap water is pretty likely to make you sick, they still use ice for everything. My favorite is when you order a glass bottle of pepsi to go, they take a plastic baggie, put some ice in it and then pour the perfectly cold bottle from the refridgerator in and stick a straw in.

I kind of gave up on not using ice down here after a week, it's just too much trouble.
posted by empath at 9:47 AM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Everyone in Brooklyn is friends with Amanda Palmer. Its like. Yeah Whatevs, you brought Amanda Palmer, are there any journalistic forays to Brighton Beach Amanda Palmer doesn't just tag along on?
posted by Ad hominem at 9:48 AM on September 25, 2012


This is also true in much of Russia even now---tap water isn't potable and drinking it will make you sick. I've encountered this frequently in other countries too.

Americans trust ice because their tap water is safe. It's the US that's unusual, not the Russians.
posted by bonehead at 9:50 AM on September 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


> Amanda Palmer?

Her bio would like you to know that she went to high school with Amanda Palmer and Eugene Mirman.
posted by hot soup girl at 9:51 AM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, this is the country that maintains a fleet of massive nuclear powered ships designed to CRUSH ICE. This seems perfectly in line with that.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 9:57 AM on September 25, 2012 [8 favorites]


Given the vast quantities of ice I consume daily, I'm amazed I'm not dead several times over.


I'm severely anemic, with the wacky ice pica side effect.
posted by elsietheeel at 10:00 AM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ice = awesome. Then again, I might be clinical for pica with ice (as long as I don't get diagnosed then it doesn't count, right?). You can try to steal my ice from my cold dead hands.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 10:09 AM on September 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


Americans trust ice because their tap water is safe. It's the US that's unusual, not the Russians.

Except that the Eastern European thing about cold drinks really isn't about ice per se. You'll notice that the article is talking about warmed up OJ and microwaved ice-cream. It's the temperature that is seen as dangerous, not the means by which that temperature is arrived at.

People are incredibly bad at inferring causality in general and when it comes to areas of high anxiety like illness they only get worse. Every time you ever get a cold you can always think of some period in the last week or so in which you either sat in a draft for some period of time or drank something a little cooler than room temperature; voila, you have your explanation for why you're sick.

Of course, it's not as if Western folk etiologies are any more rational. Most people ascribe their colds to walking out without sufficient clothing or going out with their hair wet or working somewhere where they have to go through a lot of transitions from cold to hot or what have you. Most of these stories we tell ourselves are utterly irrelevant to what in fact led to our infection.

Still, I am always a little amazed at how completely resistant my East European friends are to what looks, to me, like a pretty stunningly conclusive practical experimental refutation of the "cold drinks are killers" hypothesis. I know East Europeans who live in NYC, who see their friends, their loved ones of non-EE backgrounds, their acquaintances and pretty much everyone they know daily consuming iced drinks and showing no more vulnerability to colds than they do, and yet they continue to mutter darkly about what a reckless and foolish habit this is.
posted by yoink at 10:09 AM on September 25, 2012


When I finish a vodka tonic, the bartender always peers at the glass full of ice, somehow suspicious that I haven't drunk enough of it. When I order a new drink they sometimes even leave the old one there, like I suddenly might want a mouthful of ice.

I hate it when they take away perfectly good ice; I like both to slowly drink the ice-melt (which usually continues to be flavored by the drink for quite a while) and to suck on the blocks of ice. So I'm afraid this is one of those "can't please everybody" situations.
posted by yoink at 10:11 AM on September 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well, on the opposite side of the coin is the fact that Americans seem to love putting too much ice in their cups. The standard restaurant procedure seems to be to fill the glass to the brim with ice, then add only what liquid can fit into the crevasses between the ice.

But health superstitions are weird anyway. Americans tell their kids not to go into the water after eating for fear of dire, but generally unspecified, health problems.
posted by sotonohito at 10:13 AM on September 25, 2012


Every time you ever get a cold you can always think of some period in the last week or so in which you either sat in a draft for some period of time or drank something a little cooler than room temperature; voila, you have your explanation for why you're sick.

Every time I'm sick I think back on all the vile leaky germ-covered children into whose presence I was reluctantly forced, or every coworker with vile leaky germ-covered children at home, and I seethe vengefully.
posted by elizardbits at 10:14 AM on September 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


My first reaction to this article was identical to David’s: This seems like a weird question to me—isn't the US pretty unusual in using ice in drinks?
posted by wachhundfisch at 10:16 AM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was reading the article and thinking "but....it's already cold in Russia, so that makes sense."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:18 AM on September 25, 2012


I wanna be friends with Amanda Palmer too...
posted by Strass at 10:19 AM on September 25, 2012


Icy forever! Lukewarm never!

Seriously, I'm putting this one down to weak/sensitive teeth. Americans have teeth like horses for chomping all that ice. USA! USA!
posted by Kitty Stardust at 10:19 AM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Outside of the ice question (and name dropping!), I liked the style and humor in the article a lot. Thanks for the link!
posted by blahblahblah at 10:20 AM on September 25, 2012


My fiancee's Russian grandparents often caution me against drinking cold water too fast as I'll catch a cold from it. When one of her family orders water for the table at a restaurant it's always sans ice. I agree about most Russian drinks not needing ice, kvas would probably taste horrible with it and vodka is kept in the freezer and drunk in shots anyway.

Her grandparents at least keep bottles of water in the fridge, which is fairly progressive, I gather.
posted by mikesch at 10:22 AM on September 25, 2012


My fiancee's Russian grandparents often caution me against drinking cold water too fast as I'll catch a cold from it.

I've always wondered, in other languages is the word for the illness "a cold" the same word as for the low temperature "cold" as it is in English? Would people still think you are going to catch "a cold" from cold things if "a cold" was called "a glefurger" in English?
posted by Cosine at 10:31 AM on September 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I hate it when they take away perfectly good ice; I like both to slowly drink the ice-melt (which usually continues to be flavored by the drink for quite a while) and to suck on the blocks of ice. So I'm afraid this is one of those "can't please everybody" situations.

Sadly true.

In churrascarias they have a card to signal to the servers when they should stop bringing food. Perhaps there should be some sort of universal signal for take my old drink when you bring me a new one besides me shouting "hey, yo! yo!" at them while they walk away.

The ideal solution would be for me to get a vodka tonic with no Ice. I am going to ask them to throw a bottle of vodka into the ice well for me next time.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:31 AM on September 25, 2012


Shunning ice is madness on account of martinis. No other justification is necessary.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 10:32 AM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Swimming in the mediterranean during autumn or winter, even if the weather is sweaty blazing sunlight...

Having (foolishly, maybe drunkenly) swum in the Mediterranean off the coast of Sicily in February and still being able to feel that bone-deep chill from memory, I would just love to know where in Europe there is "sweaty blazing sunlight" in winter.
posted by psoas at 10:44 AM on September 25, 2012


ibiza gets up to low 80s on occasion, but more usually around high 60s/low70s. lovely swimmy weather, even if the water itself was shockingly cold.
posted by elizardbits at 10:49 AM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am now living in a place where ice is put in nothing, and I have never, ever missed it. Seriously, what's the big deal about a drink which is a couple of degrees colder?

While there are other problems here (water is not free in restaurants, which is a TRAGEDY WORTHY OF SHAKESPERIAN DRAMA, I tells you), I am in fact gleeful never to have to suffer through the experience of getting a glass full of ice with two swallows of liquid in it.
posted by kyrademon at 10:50 AM on September 25, 2012


Man, I hate ice in drinks. I guess I'm the only cold-blooded American? Italy was a salve of chilled-but-not-iced beverages. However, my host family loved open windows and fresh air at all times of the year, but refused to let me out of the house for my three minute walk to school with wet hair. One teacher informed us that drinking cold things after hot bites would cause our insides to contract and we would choke to death and die, so that seems like a solid reason to skip ice cubes, right there.
posted by jetlagaddict at 10:51 AM on September 25, 2012


Icy forever! Lukewarm never!

Seriously, I'm putting this one down to weak/sensitive teeth. Americans have teeth like horses for chomping all that ice. USA! USA!


Exacerbated by being so far north they don't get enough sun to generate the vitamin D that would give them stronger teeth.

But I think available food calories also play a role. When you're starving, cold that might be merely uncomfortable becomes a killer, and Russians have historically been on the verge of frozen starvation more than enough for a belief that conserves even a few calories to make its way into the canon, and for very good reason.
posted by jamjam at 10:52 AM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, on the opposite side of the coin is the fact that Americans seem to love putting too much ice in their cups. The standard restaurant procedure seems to be to fill the glass to the brim with ice, then add only what liquid can fit into the crevasses between the ice.

I always ask for extra ice. I don't care if I'm only getting 12 ounces of soda in my 32 ounce cup. It's the ice that I want. Fill it to the brim!
posted by elsietheeel at 10:52 AM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I considered myself totally americanized when, on returning from three weeks in Italy to see my family, the first thing I did after landing in NYC was to buy an enormous glass of ice and Pepsi.
(Does still count as totally immersed in American culture if it was Pepsi, not Coke?)
posted by francesca too at 10:57 AM on September 25, 2012




Some thoughts on coldness/temperature change/ice:

1. Feeling too cold or getting too cold may not technically cause a cold, but it sure helps it along. If you have cold germs, you may be able to avoid symptoms if you don't go out in the cold with your hair wet or whatever. I heard the most important thing is to keep your nose warm. This is scientific, there's probably a link, but since this is a comment, not a FPP, I'm not going to look it up at the moment.

2. Ice can make your teeth/gums hurt for hours if you've got a dental or periodontal problem. I won't give it to my aging cat in her water, not even in summer.

3. Ice waters down your drink unless you drink it really fast. I used to think that no one in America cared that their drinks tasted so watery. Then I remembered that many people drink quickly so that they can quickly down another, or at least that's what the restaurants want you to do.

4. If you're feeling well so that it's safe to do this, quick temperature changes are the fastest way to cure boredom. Try it if you're really bored...step outside, then in, then out, then in, if it's winter, or use hot water. Twice oughta do it. If it's summer, use the A/C, splash ice water on yourself or whatever, maybe use hot water, then cold again. Works like a charm. (Crying also works, but this is quicker and better than waiting til you're bored to tears.)
posted by serena15221 at 10:59 AM on September 25, 2012


A friend's mother drinks white wine with ice. She states: "Ice is nice!"
posted by ericb at 10:59 AM on September 25, 2012


When I was a kid I worked weekends at a Hutterite colony

Jabba wah ning chee kosthpa murishani tytung ye wanya yoskah. Heh heh heh.
posted by Tanizaki at 11:01 AM on September 25, 2012 [15 favorites]


Americans tell their kids not to go into the water after eating for fear of dire, but generally unspecified, health problems.

CRAMPS!
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:01 AM on September 25, 2012


My office hasn't turned the heat on yet.

I understand NOT wanting ice.
posted by jb at 11:10 AM on September 25, 2012


If you had metal fillings and steel teeth, ice wouldn't feel too good for you either.
posted by availablelight at 11:14 AM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Americans tell their kids not to go into the water after eating for fear of dire, but generally unspecified, health problems.

Actually it's pretty well-specified. The concern is that the kid will get cramps through heavy exertion after eating, which could be (theoretically, I suppose) hazardous in the case of kids who aren't strong swimmers. This was pretty much spelled out to us in swimming class as kids, although I'm inferring the part about strong swimmers; after all, I really don't think I'd drown if I got a cramp while swimming.
posted by Edgewise at 11:20 AM on September 25, 2012


I have 2 steel front teeth (with porcelain in front for aesthetic reasons). Because their nerves are long dead, they just allow me to eat ice cream really really fast.

And I chew ice compulsively.
posted by small_ruminant at 11:22 AM on September 25, 2012


Also, when I was in Russia, people were concerned about their inside temperatures matching their outside temperature. So in the dead of winter, people would be on the street in all their furs eating ice cream bars, and in the summer they're drinking hot tea.
posted by small_ruminant at 11:24 AM on September 25, 2012


A data point: I'm not of Russian descent, but I try to avoid excessively cold drinks and too much ice cream because they demonstrably do make me "sick." I've got mild, cold-triggered asthma, so something like a big Diet Coke with lots of ice from McDonald's can make me cough for a few hours.
posted by Andrhia at 11:35 AM on September 25, 2012


When I was a kid I worked weekends at a Hutterite colony

Jabba wah ning chee kosthpa murishani tytung ye wanya yoskah. Heh heh heh.


Yeah, different Hutts... though not all that different.
posted by Cosine at 11:37 AM on September 25, 2012


(Does still count as totally immersed in American culture if it was Pepsi, not Coke?)

Pepsi is Hugh Hefner's preferred cola, so that's a big yes.
posted by BWA at 11:41 AM on September 25, 2012


I avoid ice cream because of health reasons.

Brain freeze and fat belly.

Does that count?
posted by srboisvert at 12:20 PM on September 25, 2012


My brother spent a summer in St. Petersburg, and recalled a visit to a doctor's office where he was informed that the reason why he was sick was because he needed to eat more sugar...because that's where the vitamins were. I think he got sick because he was left with the male host for the summer as the host's wife was at the dacha, and all that the male knew how to cook were sausages and shawarma.
posted by stannate at 12:33 PM on September 25, 2012


N'ice.
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:55 PM on September 25, 2012


Americans tell their kids not to go into the water after eating for fear of dire, but generally unspecified, health problems.

CRAMPS!



Their pussies will start doing the dog?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:25 PM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Does it get as hot anywhere in Europe or Russia for as long as it does in, say, Texas in August? Because that seems like the obvious answer. Late May to late September is basically a constant narrow escape from heatstroke here.
posted by emjaybee at 1:42 PM on September 25, 2012


Yeah I mean this is an astonishing feat of namedropping while pretending not to be namedropping.

I had to use Google to know who this Amanda Palmer is, so the namedrop was lost on me.
posted by Tanizaki at 2:12 PM on September 25, 2012


Ah, memories of the 'trend' that started a few years ago: 'Gourmet/Designer Ice':
Gourmet Ice For Your Cocktail?

Cooling Down With 'Designer Ice'.

Gourmet Trends: Designer Ice.

The Iceman Cometh: The Rise of a Gourmet Ice Entrepreneur.
posted by ericb at 2:30 PM on September 25, 2012


Does it get as hot anywhere in Europe or Russia for as long as it does in, say, Texas in August?

idk about historically, but iirc this past summer Russia had a pretty deadly heat wave.
posted by elizardbits at 2:30 PM on September 25, 2012


I've always wondered, in other languages is the word for the illness "a cold" the same word as for the low temperature "cold" as it is in English?

It does in Russian: простуда, "a cold," is related to стужа/студеный, "cold weather" and an adjective meaning "cold" or "chilled."
posted by Nomyte at 2:44 PM on September 25, 2012


Does it get as hot anywhere in Europe or Russia for as long as it does in, say, Texas in August?

By all accounts, Russia has scorching summers. As for the rest of Europe, I suggest you travel to Madrid or Seville in August, that should answer your question (but then, Spain is the one country in Europe where ice dispensers are almost as popular as in the US).
posted by Skeptic at 3:26 PM on September 25, 2012


The "avoid cold things" trope is also a big thing in Chinese culture.

I mean I've sort of always known this, growing up in a Chinese community but, it really struck home when I was on a business trip to Shanghai and it was a sweltering hot summer, I went to the water cooler in the office for some relief... instead of the typical "hot" and "cold" choices, there was instead "boiling" and "warm" water.

That's right, I couldn't even get cool room temperature water. Because that would be bad for your health.
posted by xdvesper at 3:46 PM on September 25, 2012


Perhaps there should be some sort of universal signal for take my old drink when you bring me a new one besides me shouting "hey, yo! yo!" at them while they walk away.

You could just say "I'm done with this one" and push it towards them as they're setting down your new drink. Or put the beverage nap that was sitting underneath the glass into the glass and push it to the inside of the bar top. That's a pretty clear signal you're done with the glass.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 5:55 PM on September 25, 2012


The use of "cold" to describe a disease traditionally thought to be caused by exposure to cold temperatures is probably steeped in that tradition, no? The cold nose thing is interesting. Makes sense at least from my couch sprawled out with a cold that if fever helps you fight a cold infect and cold viruses aka rhino viruses tend to hang out in the nose, at least initially, a cold nose may provide a fertile ground for coldy badness.
posted by lordaych at 6:10 PM on September 25, 2012


Ice waters down your drink

Yes, I know. That's a feature, not a bug. Most cold beverages are sickly sweet when drunk straight. Filling my enormous plastic cup to the brim with ice before pouring in said beverage fixes that problem.
posted by marsha56 at 6:27 PM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


xdvesper: The "avoid cold things" trope is also a big thing in Chinese culture.

It gets a bit more confusing in Chinese culture because there's a concept of "heaty" and "cooling" foods that has no real relationship to their actual temperature. Ice cream for example is heaty, and a hot cup of herbal tea is cooling. In my (hot and humid) part of the world most people get a cold because they are too heaty, and must thus avoid cold foods and take more cooling hot stuff.
posted by destrius at 9:40 PM on September 25, 2012


I can't fathom having soda without loads of ice to water it down. It just tastes like fizzy syrup, even the diet kind.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 12:55 PM on September 26, 2012


There's also the exact opposite Russian habit (maybe a Soviet-era one) called 'tempering'- where you keep children's bedroom temperature way low in the winter so that they're less likely to get colds.
posted by girl Mark at 10:29 AM on September 27, 2012


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