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A la pharmacie

I don't know what it's like at a pharmacy/chemist's in England or Sweden or Jamaica or Australia or wherever else you're reading from, but American pharmacies tend to be quite discreet. If you have diarrhea, you skulk over to the diarrhea section, snatch something off the shelf, based on your own specific symptoms and needs, edge over to the cashier, pay, and run away. With prescription medicines, you hand your paper to the man behind the counter, he gives you an unidentifiable bottle, you pay for your Viagra, and leave.

In France, however (and in Chile as well), to get the simplest of items, you have to walk into the store, stand in line behind the whole world, and then loudly announce "I HAVE DIARRHEA. QUITE BAD DIARRHEA, ACTUALLY. WHAT WOULD YOU SUGGEST FOR IT, MY GOOD MAN?"

Thankfully, diarrhea is one of the few symptoms I don't have. Oh Jesus, what kind of search requests is this going to get me?

I went to the pharmacy on Thursday and told the man I had a cold, in particular a sore throat. He gave me something, I paid and left, then discovered he had given me sore throat lozenges with nothing for the rest of the cold.

I returned today, because my main symptom is now a cough. "I have a cold," I announced to the woman. I managed to avoid the man who had sold me the lozenges, lest he think I am a stalker or a cold medicine junkie. "I have a cold," I informed her, "Especially a cough."

She looked me over. "How old are you?" she asked.

"I am twenty-two years old," I answered. I probably could get by just find on children's medicine, because medicine strength probably should be based on size rather than age. But I figured I ought to be honest.

She suggested a few brands, but I didn't know anything about any of them so I went with the first one. She packed it up and wandered off without saying thank you or goodbye. I think they hate me there. They are probably selling me children's strength rat poison.

Now I am at home, sampling my drug cocktail... of DEATH! I felt it had to be described that way, since Cleo isn't blogging in her blog anymore. The medicine is for colds, flu-like states, and allergic rhinusitis. Is that what we say? God only knows.

The lovely garbage comes in granules that have to be dissolved in "une quantité suffisante d'eau chaude ou froide". That's clear. It is to be taken orally (that's nice of them to clear up, because I was planning on shooting it directly into my veins...) and is reserved for those over age 15. Dear god, the pharmacist thought I was fifteen! No wonder none of my students respect me.

I am now choking down this delicious mixture of lukewarm, grainy, mediciney/citrusy water. It will probably cure me, if only because my body will realize it will be tortured with another dose if it doesn't straighten up and fly right.

Either that or the rat poison will kill me.

srah - Saturday, 5 April 2003 - 6:20 AM
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