A Girl’s Guide to Spanish {aka what not to say in la farmacia}

Sometimes, my voice resonates at unusually high levels. As in, I talk unnecessarily loud at times without realizing. I cannot tell you how many times this has gotten me into trouble, and yet I still NEVER LEARN. This little problemita I have only gets worse when I have a cold -like I do now- cuz I’m alll stuffed up and think I’m speaking at a lower decibel than I actually am.

So ya I’ve had  a cold for quite a few days now and finally got sick of it {aha…ha…}. I went to the pharmacy entonces to buy some decongestant so I’d sound less like Lois from Family Guy. I walk in, scurry my way past the few Cusqueños there, and pop right up to the counter to ask Mr. Pharmacist for some meds.

Never have I purchased medicine in spanish before {with the exception of one hospital experience in Spain, where all i did was scream MAS IBUPROFENOOOOOOOOOO}. So I assumed the man behind the counter would understand me when I asked for some anticongestivos. 

Here’s where I made my first fault. I asked for “anticon-jay-stivos,” putting an unnecessary emphasis on the “g” to make it sound like the “j” –as in Blue Jay. Properly pronounced, the medicine I desired is “anticon-jeh-stivos.”

I should’ve picked up on the fact something was off when the few Cusqueños occupying the pharmacy turned to look at me; I also should have picked up on the fact that the pharmacist lowered his voice to help follow through with my order.

He quickly and nervously rushed through a series of questions about blood clots, family health history, etc. I thought, my god man, I’m about to snot all over, just give me the dang decongestant and let me OUT OF HERE.

I think he could tell I was getting annoyed {again, I’m so bad at hiding my emotions} so he had me sign this thing then went to the back to get my pills. Finally, I thought. When he came back, he told me how to take one a day blah blah blah, I just kept nodding so he’d go faster, I could go home, take one, and feel better.

As he was ringing me up, I started reading over the packaging. “Para impidir la posibilidad de una fecundación” it said…so that kind of freaked me out {does sudafed impede your fertility too?}. As he was telling me the total price, I kept reading the little box, “la  prevención de embarazos no deseados” it told me {what does having a cold have to do with having kids??}. Finally, BEING THE SMARTY I AM,  I decided to turn the box to the front and read it’s label.

ANTICONCEPTIVO, it read. aka birth control.

So -again, forgetting to control my speaking volume- “No para el SEXO,” I yelped, “para el NARIZ!!!

This is what happens when you don’t wordreference.com what you need before you go to the store. The POOR PHARMACIST had thought that I had wanted birth control, when really I just wanted something to clear my nose.  Shocked and momentarily confused, he just stared at me for a good ten seconds {and the back of my head could feel at least half a dozen sets of ojos turning to eye me as well}. Then he rushed to the back to get me some decongestant pills as I stood at the counter, bright red, attempting to pretend every single person in the pharmacy hadn’t just heard the awkward confusion between my love life and nasal problems.

So lesson learned. Don’t mix up your medicine vocab. And also check the packaging in a foreign country before you buy to make sure your getting medicine to reduce your symptons, not amplify your hormones. It’s been a day since I’ve started talking the decongestants and my nose feels much clearer thankyouverymuch…..and that’s more than I can say for that love life of mine, but I’ll wait to medicate all those issues later.

Cuidate mucho ❤

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