It's a little known fact, but air conditioning is the leading cause of illnesses outside of North America. People in Turkey, for example, who are in other ways completely normal become daft at the prospect of sitting under, or near, the AC.
It seems like some version of "fear of the draft" exists in most parts of the world -- definitely in the FSU and Middle East. In an effort to protect themselves from the AC, my Azeri staff would wrap their heads so completely that only their eyes could be seen, leading the uninitiated to conclude the AC had fallen and struck them on the head. I've seen a busload of Ethiopians nearly start a riot in 100 degree heat over a slightly open window. Of course our grandmothers admonished us to avoid drafts, but they probably escaped from these countries we mock for believing that cold air can make you sick.
In Turkish class, latecomers expose themselves to everything from ebola and Legionniaire's disease to the sniffles because the only seat left is the one under the AC. As the only American in the class, I willingly sacrifice my health by taking the AC seat, even if I am the first to arrive. That's just how I roll.
As I absorb the full brunt of 12,500 BTUs, I point out to my classmates that where I come from, illnesses are caused by these new things called "bacteria" and "viruses" and, therefore, I am immune from AC-transmitted diseases. They look at me as if I am mental.
In a well-meaning gesture to prolong my lifespan, my worried teacher offered yesterday to bring some medicine in for me. I smirked and thanked her.
But you know what? I came down with a raging case of Pink Eye this week. Can Pink Eye be transmitted by AC?