Mal de Mer
In Italian it's called "mal di mare."
For some reason, stone lions suffer greatly from this affliction.
The Somali version is "Badda jirrada."
In German, "Seekrankheit."
Haitian Creole expresses it as, "Lanmè maladi."
A queasy marble lion can be found on the marker for Admiral Lord Nelson at St. Paul's Cathedral in London. The lion represents the man -- Nelson, a brilliant naval tactician, survived sea-sickness throughout his career. A career, just by-the-by, that started at age 12.
Not only did the man get whittled down in defense of his country -- first losing sight in one eye, then losing an arm before taking a fatal gunshot --- but he yarked mightily while doing so.
Yes, I should have known better than to snap a picture of said lion in church (ignorant git!), but for my sins, the film (film!) was double-exposed. I share it anyhow because just look -- is he not the Bravest Little Toaster of all indisposed stone lions?
"See-siekte" in Afrikaans.
"Fune-yoi" in Japanese.
In Latin, "Mare languorum."
Symptoms range from slight discomfort and unease to debilitating vertigo, vomiting, and resultant dehydration.
People who have not yet been seasick display a slight edge over those who have. They say things like, "Think of something else." (What, like England?!) or, "I was nearly sick once crossing the Solent during the big storm of '08." They suggest, one way or another, that the illness is a conscious choice and probably a sign of larger moral weakness.
"Sjó-veikindi" in Icelandic.
In Welsh, "Sawlch môr."
"Morskaya bolezyn" in Russian.
Sage advice includes: keep an eye on the horizon, eat saltines, take deep breaths. Some people swear by ginger, or by acupressure bands. Pop a pill: most of which are antihistamines, but kindly fellow sufferers will hand over prescription Scopolamine patches (for which the side-effects may include hallucinations) with a knowing wince.
Oddly enougth, Laughter is not the best medicine for mal de mer.
It hardly bears saying that sea-sickness is only humorous when someone else is suffering from it.
Like that other hilarious malady, the hangover, sea-sickness grows increasingly entertaining the farther away it is in space and time.
For the Basque, "Itsas gaixotasuna."
In Chinese, "Yùnchuán."
"Doença do mar" in the Portuguese.
What recourse does the sufferer have? The only sure cure is to hold quite still. On land.
3/7/2014 01:15:33 am
Love the pics, though I think I'll wait a bit before I eat breakfast. Feeling a bit queasy :)
3/8/2014 12:56:00 pm
3/7/2014 05:24:07 am
Lord Nelson's remedy was "to sit under a tree".
3/8/2014 12:57:15 pm
3/7/2014 08:53:56 am
Sailing back down the Australian coast after a fantastic month racing in the Whitsunday's, I became violently ill off the back of the SYD36. We had a Humpback whale follow us for about a mile or two. Time and distance was lost on me; I just wanted to slip into the sea and die. Simon got a kick out of our tag-a-long massive mammal and from then on called me his "Whale Whisperer"... I won't mention the expletives deleted I was calling him.
3/8/2014 12:59:22 pm
Yeah, sea-sickness is one of the "funny" illnesses.
3/7/2014 09:08:09 am
When I was a nipper , I was a member of Bembridge Junior Angling Club , on the Islawight. One of the fishing boat skippers Bernie Attrill lined us all up before our first ever boat trip , and fed us all a gurt big table spoonful of strawberry jam ( jelly ) , and very nice it was too. Then he asked us all why he had done that. No-one knew the answer , but he soon gave it to us. "Mark my words nippers , some of you will be seasick , but when you are it will now taste nicer". ... He was right !
3/8/2014 01:01:59 pm
Len, that is brilliant!
3/19/2014 01:43:09 pm
What a great set of photos of mournful lion statuary. I wonder if one could find a similar set of mournful American Eagle iconography. I doubt it. And what does that say about the difference between the English and the Yanks?
3/21/2014 01:03:29 am
Good question. I don't think I have ANY images of mournful eagles. But then eagles excel at poker, with a very narrow range of emotions on show from "Proud" to "Disapproving."
Leave a Reply.
About the Blog
A lot of ground gets covered on this blog -- from sailboat racing to book suggestions to plain old piffle.
Trying to keep track? Follow me on Facebook or Twitter or if you use an aggregator, click the RSS option below.
Old school? Sign up for the newsletter and I'll shoot you a short e-mail when there's something new.