1) NEVER GO BAREFOOT-
Apparently the feet are portholes of infirmary. Between the cold, animals,germs, and bugs, it was a given hospital stay if you were ever found barefoot. (Oh, and Lord forbid if anyone ever saw you like that- they'd think you were from "El Campo".) My poor parents tried for 17 years and finally had to give up. I LOVE going barefoot. Guess I was destined for the South.
2) DON'T GO TO BED WITH YOUR HEAD WET-
There we go, being extreme. First the feet, then the head. Besides being a recipe for bed head in the morning (which no self respecting Cubanita would allow) the air would bring about tremendo cold. If you think I mean a/c- no, no,no we don't need to be so drastic to have a cold. The culprit of many a Cuban malady- NIGHT AIR.
Yes, NIGHT AIR, the demon of diseases and destruction. Not only did this devil cause more sickness than the plague, but it also broke down and disintegrated anything left out in its' domain. People or patio furniture, neither are immune to its' powers.
This being a well known truth, we continue to-
3) COVER UP
Anytime there was a breeze, or heaven forbid you were going out at night, the head (especially in little children), the chest and back (covering the lungs) must be covered. The later in the evening the more and/or tighter you should bundle up.
If by some milagro you did catch something then they went straight to the cupboard for the Cuban Cure All.
Vicks Vapor Rub, or as we were brought up to say, VIX VAPO RU. The magical ointment was slathered on the bottom of the feet, the chest, the back (covering the lungs), the neck, the forehead, and VERY important- under the nose. The fumes alone brought people back from the dead.
Aha, I see you smiling. You know of what I speak.
Por supuesto this aromatic bath was done while a cazuelon of hearty homemade chicken soup with bolitas de FuFu was being made-to cast out the fever, the bad spirits and the hunger.
Old time remedies, a bit of history. I'm sure we all have our memories of "cures" and "wisdom" and we shake our heads. Let's just smile and remember the love they were given with. And to those who wonder if I've followed these and shared them ... JU SO FONI !!!
I'm a Cuban Grandma; need I say more?
Babushka Besos a todos. Cuidensen.