Today I got a serious case of the hiccups at work. We're talking 2 hours worth of hiccuping. Our receptionist, Freshta, walked into my office and demanded the money I owed her. I stared at her, a little baffled, and hiccuped again. She laughed and said, "It didn't work!" She proceeded to explain to me that the best way to get rid of hiccups is to distract the person or shock them. Apparently, the Afghan remedy for hiccups is to demand money. In a culture that has very strict guidelines for what is permissible to discuss in casual conversation, coming right out and asking for money is startling. A less popular option is to swallow a teaspoon of salt.
In the course of the day, three other people asked me for the money I owed them and one guy asked for a salary raise (not sure if the last one was hiccup related). None of these worked. What finally got rid of them? Too much petrol got in my bukhari heater. The little explosion made me jump in my seat and scared the hiccups right out of me.