Thursday, December 06, 2007

Caving in

"But you are more sicker!" exclaims the Nice Cafe lady.

And I figure, she's got a point. So I finally concede, and visit the chemist.

Remember back in the day, when chemists were purveyors of arcane medicines - everything was stashed behind the counter, out of reach and unintelligible? That's kind of what they're like in Madeira.

There's nothing like Walgreens or Superdrug or Boots - nowhere to browse along aisles of pain killers and lozenges and night-nursey type things. And you have to go to a chemist even for aspirin (to think, I used to complain about Solpadeine being prescription-only in the US...).

So this was my first visit in Madeira. I went in, recalling asking a UK chemist for advice about flu-stuff before: they talked about contraindications, side-effects, then distanced themselves from the whole process. If I chose to take the pills, that was my responsibility.

Not so here. She doesn't ask anything, just goes into the inner sanctuary and brings out two boxes. "One of these three times a day, and one of these at night", she glances at me, shivering in 25 degrees, "or more often. You can take these more."

Off I went, armed with pills, and got some red wine for good measure. My spidey senses tell me there'll be an afternoon nap today.

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