August 01, 1996

How Do We Feel, Doctor?

How Do We Feel, Doctor?

Здоровья в аптеке не купишь
You can’t buy health at the pharmacy

This popular Russian saying got a second meaning and a new lease of life in the late 1980s. In those years, Soviet citizens would search empty-shelved pharmacies for the most elementary drugs, like aspirin or nose drops. The only consolation was lyrics from a popular Soviet song in vogue in the 30s – от всех болез­ней нам полез­ней солн­це, воз­дух и вода (sun, fresh air and water can heal any disease).

Another Russian folk saying sets a slightly different mood – кто не курит и не пьёт, тот здоровень­ким по­мрёт (“he who doesn’t smoke and drink will die healthy” – i.e. you’ll die anyway so why bother trying to be healthy?).

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