Blame it on the Bogey
“Honey, I’ve read something on the internet.” says my wife, before adding, “But please don’t judge me.”
This sounds intriguing. So much so that I immediately stop crushing candy and sit up straight.
“I’m going to put some cabbage on my nipples. But first I’m going to iron it.”
I’m not sure what to say.
“Apparently it’s good for breast feeding injuries.”
Okay. Now it makes a little bit more sense…I guess.
“I know what you’re thinking.” Zsuzsa says. "You’re thinking this is another crazy Hungarian remedy aren't you!? You’re thinking this is another tomato-gate!”
i was actually wondering how easy it would be to iron a cabbage, but let me tell you about tomato-gate. Last year I had an ingrowing toenail. It was agony and I was struggling to walk. Zsuzsa assured me that she knew how to fix it. She then put a beef tomato on my toe and wrapped it in clingfilm. I was in so much pain that I went along with it. The next morning I removed the clingfilm, pulled the beef tomato off my toe and washed off all the excess tomato juice. My ingrowing toenail was still ingrowing. I decided to go old school and went to see a doctor.
“You are aren't you!? Look at you, looking down at my methods with your snobby British nose! I bet you don’t even believe in aloe vera do you!?”
At this point I’d just like to mention that I haven’t said a word.
“Well I’m going to iron some cabbage and stuff it down my bra, no matter what you say!”
Zsuzsa storms off.
I must confess though, beef tomato and cabbage bras aren’t the only Hungarian medical practice that have surprised me since arriving in Budapest. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but shortly after Mila was born, she began to make breathing noises in her sleep that suggested that she smoked forty cigarettes a day. On the assumption that she wasn’t an exceptionally crafty smoker, we took Mila to see a doctor. The doctor did a few checks and to our relief said everything was normal. He did however recommend that we use something called an orrszi-porszi.
“What’s an orrszi-porszi? I later asked Zsuzsa.
“It’s a hoover attachment for baby’s noses. You attach it to your hoover and then stick it up the babies nose. It sucks out all of the bad stuff.”
“What? A real hoover?”
“Yes. A real hoover. It's good for preventing eye or ear infections”
I was sceptical, but lo and behold she was right. I’ve never seen these things in the UK, but apparently Hungarians swear by them and they seem to do the trick.
The first few times that we tried it on Mila she seemed surprised, but didn’t actually seem to mind the whole sucking process so much. Recently however, Mila is starting to kick up a big stink whenever we stick a hoover attachment up her nose. What a princess! It’s become quite a rigmarole. Annoyingly, this evening we’ve noticed a big bogey up Mila’s nose and in the interest of a good night’s sleep, we are considering rolling out the orrszi-porszi one more time.
“I think it’s actually the noise of the hoover that Mila doesn’t like so much.” says Zsuzsa. “Maybe if we blast out really loud music right by her ears we can mask the sound of the hoover?”
“It would have to be music that we would quite like her to hate though.” I add. “In case she learns to associate the tune with the nose hoover.”
“What about ABBA?” Zsuzsa suggests.
Five minutes later and Mila is having her nose hoovered, her shrill baby screams being drowned out by the sound of “Dancing Queen”.
That night Mila sleeps like a snot-free little log. We drift off to our sweet dreams as the melodic sounds of nocturnal Budapest dance upon our eardrums and the fragrant scent of freshly ironed cabbage wafts through the night sky.