So today after work, I convinced a coworker to go with me to a Japanese pharmacy because she speaks some Japanese (enough to get by) and I trust their medicine more than I do American medicine. Here's how that trip went.
We find this place in an ally, which isn't a stretch since almost everything here is located in something resembling an ally (really those are two lane roads). Go into the shop and are greeted by a nice man (the pharmacist) who proceeds to speak to me in Japanese even though it's very clear that my dear coworker is Japanese and speaking with him in Japanese (as I cannot). She relays my symptoms. He then asks if I have a fever, through translation I indicate that I don't think so. He offers a thermometer to check. I pull out the thermometer and it's a digital one but not one of the ones that comes with the disposable plastic sanitary shields. Crap. So my coworker kindly asks for something to clean it with. He gives me hand sanitizer and a tissue. OK it's going to be one of those kinds of establishments. But to be honest I was game for whatever this guy was throwing at me as long as it would take the cough/chest congestion away (throwing in a side order of sleep would only be a bonus!). I "sanitize" the thermometer and take a seat and put it in my mouth when he has a horrified look on his face and my coworker quickly translates "oh no, it's for your armpit". For the next minute while it calculated my temperature I tried to calm myself and think about something other than the fact that I had just put this device that thousands of people had shoved under their arm, into my mouth.So of course the embarrassment causes me to sweat profusely and turn bright red. He's taking my temperature from my armpit, of course it will read high, and it did (but not too high considering how embarrassed I was. Hand sanitizer kills that right?
After a lot of translation, I was given a box of medicine and some complimentary garlic pills (natures antibiotic I'm told) and sent on my way. Just about $20 and 15 minutes. Can't get that kind of personal service in the states. Especially considering this pharmacist probably has more schooling than a lot of our brain surgeons.
Now fingers crossed that this concoction works.
It's nasty, it's a granulated texture, you dump the contents of the package in your mouth (preferably in the back so they don't sit on your tongue because the taste is so bitter) and then quickly down the hatch with a LOT of water! This is a process that is required 3 times a day.