Monday, January 11, 2010

mal a la tete

Last week I had a headache.  I tried to sleep it off, but it was still there in the morning and I decided I would go to the pharmacy to buy some Tylenol.  I looked up the words that I would need and set off.  One thing that is different here (in a bad way) when one doesn't speak the dominant language is that a lot of stores are set up in such a way that the items to buy are behind a counter and one has to ask (and therefore actually speak) to get the hoped for object.  I stepped up to the counter and asked for what I needed, in French.  The woman looked at me with a horrified expression.  I was pretty sure that I knew the word, but I must have not pronounced it correctly.  I then said, "En Anglais c'est..."  She wouldn't let me finish, saying, "Non, non, non, non, non," and looking around desperately for help.  All of her coworkers were busy.  She then turned back to me.  I said the word again and then saw that there was a piece of paper and pencil in front of her.  She looked on with agitation as I carefully wrote the word in French with all of the requisite accent marks.  Oh!  Then she wrote on the paper "500 grams" and "1000 grams" which I am sure that I could have just told her orally, but we were beyond words at this point.  I pointed to one, she wrote down the cost, I paid, and I left.  If I thought I had a headache before...

5 comments:

The Queen Bee said...

I wonder what you were asking for?

normal mom said...

How many times have I told you not to try to buy 1000 grams of Vicodin over the counter? I mean, really Mary, just drink some Perrier and complain about something with a little cheese and fruit on the side. You headache will go right away.

Zach said...

If you want the true French experience, then you need to get an effervescent tablet form of paracetamol (acetaminophen). That is surely what the locals use!

AFarCryFromNormal said...

Merci beaucoup!!! Now I think I have a headache! I "have" been following your journey! I miss you and am so happy that you are having this experience (not the headache part of course!)! I should put a ticker till Mary comes home on my blog! LOL Have a splendid day/week! :-)

Julie S said...

I once walked into a Japanese drugstore and mimed out that I had a runny/stuffy nose, and got the best decongestant I have ever experienced.

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