16 October 2003

I'm allergic to pigeons

Stop laughing.

It's nothing official as I haven't been to the doctor's office but I'm 99% sure that i have developed an allergy to pigeons.

The question you are trying to gasp out between paroxysms of laughter is "Do I want to know how you know this?"

My workplace has been under construction for a year now. April-ish we office dorks got shoved into temporary office digs in one of the new bedrooms so the new reception/office area could get overhauled. My computer is by the window, which overlooks one of Rome's ubiquitous courtyard-that-isn't-a-courtyard (rather a scrap of space left between two buildings so that there is some natural light coming in your window) and has subsequently been left open for fresh air most of the time. What with all the construction, things have been really dusty but my sinuses have not been affected.

Fast forward to the end of August, I began to notice cooing pigeon noises coming from outside the window, accompanied by a small shower of debris and the occasional moulting feather or two. Seems we have a family of pigeons roosting in the eaves above us. Mid-September I note that my eyes get itchy, nose gets a bit runny, and I can't stop sneezing. I put it down to needing new contact lenses, too many hours in front of the computer, and too many nights in a row spent inside a smoky pub.

I play homebody for around a week, and get new contact lenses at the end of said week. The next day I walk into the office, with its window open and immediately feel my eyes begin to water. Within 2 minutes, I start sneezing and my nose starts running and itching.

*Coo Coo*

When I went to the pharmacy to ask for an antihistamine, the pharmacist asked me if I had an idea of what might be causing the reaction.


Which earned me the "Fucking crazy Americans" look and the strongest antihistemine you can get without a prescription (11 bucks for a box of 20. I'd hate to think of what they'd cost without Italy's socialised healthcare. At least I only have to take one a day...)

Sometimes I wonder where the laughtrack to my life is playing.

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