What happens in Ireland travels with you to London and then back to the States

My body brought its own souvenir back to the United States. I can even tell you where I picked it up: the Titanic Museum in Belfast, Ireland. Just before we walked into it, my husband said, if we are in here for less than the length of the Titanic movie, we have failed. We were in there for 3 and a half hours so we can pat ourselves on the back now.

The trip to the museum was a 20-minute walk from our hotel; the weather was beautiful that morning. I stuffed my sweater in my bag, and carried a light jacket and my scarf with me, which I still thought was overkill. “It’s beautiful here,” I insisted. “Why do I need warm clothes at all?”

But then we walked outside, fresh off purchasing all the souvenirs I bought for myself, I mean other people, and it was raining. It was cold and it was wet, and I didn’t have my sweater. Well. I did have my sweater, I just refused to take it out of my bag to put it on, certain I’d be fine with my jacket and scarf.

I wasn’t fine. I woke up on Friday, an hour before we had to fly to London, and I knew it was bad. I took my first swallow of the day and I knew I was in for it.

My co-workers would tell me, well, that’s what you get for going to “fake” Ireland.
(They don’t consider Belfast part of Ireland but rather part of England)

I tried to rally, I did. I bought over the counter medications, and cough drops, and aspirin at the airport. I’m going to trick my body into forgetting that it’s harboring a cold, I thought. I was determined. I was disgusting on the tail end of the trip, spitting phlegm into garbage cans, sidewalk corners. Londoners took one look at me and must have thought, filthy Americans.

I don’t blame them.

Happily, one way to cheer up a cold is a notification from Barnes and Noble that said the books I pre-ordered shipped. I had forgotten I had four books on the way. Joking, I never forget if books are on the way.

But that still doesn’t do anything for my cold.