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So, brandnetel. This literally translates as fire nettle, and I can only assume the English translation is stinging nettle. Arno had pointed to a plant at some time early on when I arrived in the Netherlands. It had jagged leaves. He said, "I'm not sure if that is it, but it has leaves like this. I'm not going to touch it and find out, though."

Fast forward to a few weeks back, when I fell in the crick. As I was laying on the bank, trying to reach Kayenta's stick, my face ended up in a plant. After a few minutes, I noticed that it looked like it had jagged leaves... and also, my face was getting a bit irritated by them brushing across it... But I didn't have much time to think about it as at this point my gravity shifted and I went into the water headfirst.

Arno theorizes that the water probably washed off most of the nettle's irritating bristles... we assume things could have been much worse. Nonetheless, I had stingy patches around one nostril and down the right side of my upper lip, a bit on my chin, and patches on each arm just below or on the elbows. They were irritating, but not terrible, and the worst of it was eased by a small icepack.

Since then I have been deathly afeared of anything with jagged leaves, though.

When Beedoo! went ploosh, I went and did a whole bunch of things. I wasn't really prepared for such an eventuality, but seeing as she's now living in my country, on my behest, I felt like I needed to step up and... Do things. I took her home along a slightly shorter route, dragging Kayenta along ("Oh, what's THIS thing! Let's stop and SMELL it! And oh, what's THAT further back?"). At home I put her under the shower (no need to undress!) and set to work finding out about a cure for brandnetel rash.

Brandnetels are common in The Netherlands. They're the local poison ivy, so to speak (and I know poison ivy is common in the United States because every American comedy character constantly falls into them, wipes their heiny with it, rubs it in their face or whatever else Americans do with the stuff).

I ended up on a Belgian website, Flemish to be exact, where people communicated in the Flemish variant of Dutch that I always find so charming. Someone posted that they had been stung by a brandnetel, and after three days it still got sore when it got wet. He, or she, asked for remedies, which were supplied and debunked in the posts that followed.

I finally settled on a credible sounding post about anti-hystamenes, and how you can even find them in ointments against insect bites or sunburn. Turns out I still had an old tube of ointment against mosquito bites, which saved the day!

I have noted that it's a form of lucky that Beedoo! slid into the water; that probably did wash off a lot of the acid. The Dutch expression for this is: A good furtune at a misfortune. (Een geluk bij een ongeluk).

And how lucky Beedoo! was: two quintessential Dutch experiences in one go! Is it any surprise she is doing so exceptionally well in Dutch class? :)

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