When your throat starts to hurt, your nose starts to run, and overall you feel like a pile of doggy merde, the French know that you have La Crève.
If you go to work and tell your co-workers that you have La Crève, not only will they immediately sympathize with you, but they will also mention that you should se couvrir (cover up!), mettre une echarpe (put on a scarf!) and eviter les courants d'air (avoid drafts of air!).
All French people know that not covering up, not wearing a scarf, all while standing in the middle of a draft of air, will immediately bring on La Crève.
This will then call for such medication as Lysopaïne (some kind of sugar-free vitamin-looking tablet thing that is supposed to make your throat feel better), Physiodose (sea water spray that you shoot up your nose and then blow out) and the tried and true Doliprane, Nurofen and Actifed Rhume. (Note from the pharmacienne: Actifed ne sert à rien - isn't worth taking- unless you are also shooting Physiodose up your nose on a daily basis...good to know.)
Lucky Cannes Cannes got La Crève last Saturday - 250 thousand billion trillion million kleenexes and nasty coughs later, and I now look like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer's long lost American cousin. To all of my Frenchie friends, please note that I am diligently covering myself, wearing my scarf and avoiding drafts of air, all while sucking on Lysopaïne, shooting salt water up my nose and timing when I can take my next Actifed.
My Mom's Russian massage therapist would be appalled. Her advice when the going gets tough: Garlic, Vicks and Vodka - or as she likes to tell me (as she digs her Russian thumbs into my back), Wicks and Wodka! Then you feel better!
Why do the French make things so complicated?