beware the psixi

I returned from Prague on Monday (it’s absolutely gorgeous and amazing) with a bit of a cold, which I’m attributing to the change in climate (Athens has been dependably hot; Prague was rainy and the weather kept shifting from cool to warm) and to traveling factors in general, such as the change in timezone, a ton of walking, and my increased consumption of beer (it was really good and really cheap).

Anyway, being sick made me think of psixi — what Greeks call the sickness you get from air-conditioning, the fan, or a draft. It’s sort of equivalent to believing in the evil eye. My friends and I have had a lot of laughs about this one, but then secretly, deep-down, we think it’s true. A few weeks ago my sister got sick with a cold and said she thought it was from air-conditioning. I’ve had a friend tell me to shut if off because it was making her feel like crap, and at various points in my life, I have woken up certain that the air-conditioning has somehow given me a cold. I’ve also heard people express concern about fans blowing directly onto them, but I draw the line there because, you know, I’m rational.

Still, I wonder if there’s something to it. Certainly if the AC filter isn’t changed enough or isn’t working properly it can introduce mold into the room. I also read something about air-conditioning making the air dryer, and therefore making your respiratory system more susceptible to germs. Could the dreaded psixi be real? Anyway, beware the chill.

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