I got some emails when I wrote that melancholic sounding post about a week ago saying, “You don’t sound like yourself. What’s wrong?” Nothing that I don’t think time can’t heal, so let’s move on, shall we?
Not so fast.
I noticed an interesting trend. Perhaps, I should say that I’ve been noticing an interesting trend: I get more page views and comments when I post about something depressing, a personal failure, an illness, etc., than when I post something to the effect of: “Everything is going great!” The internet is strange that way, but I hope it’s out of genuine understanding or concern than a virtual schadenfreude.
Because this is a personal blog as opposed to an expat blog, or a travel blog, or a brain tumor blog, I try to mix up the posts based on what’s relevant in my life at the moment. So whether it’s rapport or an odd pleasure at seeing me get life’s pie thrown in my face, this post has a little of both.
I brought down two important medications from the US. One I was tapering off, and the other I had hopes of tapering off. The latter I use for headache control and was taking three pills a day. I’ve only been able to get down to two pills a day without getting a nagging, worrisome headache. Needless to say, I’ve been watching the pills in the transparent orange bottle dwindle. Finally, yesterday I realized that they would soon run out.
I was emailing L at work and he was trying to assuage my panic with helpful suggestions. But you know how it works when a woman is really worried about something and a man tries to “fix” it–it only served to irritate me. I called my mom and she offered to send them to me. I balked at the suggestion because once before when she tried to send me medication in the mail, it got detained in customs. Only after a ton of paperwork, fine paying, and perhaps a shade of bribery later, I received my medication. Not fun.
I told her I was going to try to go to the pharmacy and just see if they would sell me the pills without a prescription. Now, she’s worked in a hospital or clinical setting for longer than I’ve been alive and said, “I doubt that will work. There must be international standards against something like that!”
I know I should have tried to buy more of them when I was in the US. That much is obvious now, but the way my insurance worked they only allowed me to buy one month out. I don’t think I even considered asking, “So, like, can I fill the rest of the prescription and just pay cash?”
Later, when L got home he told me that he would go with me to the pharmacy and we could try to buy them together. He told me to bring the pill bottle, my passport, and then do whatever it is I normally do to get what I want like bat my eyelashes or smile.
Pharmacies in Chile are strange in the fact that they are not as open as pharmacies in Mexico, for example, and they require prescriptions for medications I can easily buy over the counter in the US (yet, sometimes it’s the opposite).
Part of our plan was that I would play the part of the ignorant foreigner. Normally, I take offense when people assume I can’t speak Spanish. This time I didn’t. We even got the pharmacist who I’ve come to refer to as “jerkface” because he is not a nice person. L explained what I needed, acting like he was translating it all for me, and we bought the medication. Jerkface even joked about L’s membership card to a certain soccer team. And here I thought he had no personality!
The pills were expensive. That’s for sure, but there was no dallying or asking for prescriptions. It was all easy.
A friend and I used to have a saying for Chile when we studied in Concepción for when things appeared more complicated than necessary, “That would be too easy!” Like, “Why would there be toilet paper in the bathroom? That would be too easy!”
I know that the pharmacist probably didn’t care if I had a prescription or not because to him it was just business as usual, but I was both surprised and buoyed by the experience.
I even went home and finished filling out my profile on a job search website and applied to my first job here.
Wish me luck! I have a busy day planned of writing and applying for more jobs.