So. My coworker said the ibuprofen took the edge off the back pain and she didn’t think the dr. needed to come. She called him back and he advised rest and more ibuprofen. That’s great – but I’d given her my last two, so that meant I needed to go procure more for her. I went to the front desk and asked where to go to get it and he directed me to the pharmacy type store – Etos. He gave me walking directions and off I went.
Five hours later, I’m back with the gee-dee ibuprofen. Just kidding. It wasn’t five hours. But it felt like it.
Here’s a snapshot of the city map so you get an idea of where I’m dealing with. I don’t understand what’s a street and what’s an alley. The directions the dude gave me DID NOT WORK.
I ended up SUPER lost (no shops anywhere around) and afraid to go further because I was afraid of losing my bearings on how to get back to the hotel. The streets are diagonal and all kinds of crazy and if I got (more) lost, I was hosed. My phone was at 10% battery, by the way. OMG. I finally got the bright idea to Google the store and find their locations…which I did…but I couldn’t get the website in English. I figured out how to find the locations and how to get to a place where it would map it from “my location” but when it took me to Google maps, it was in Dutch. I finally stopped a gal and asked her how to find Etos and after two hours of her trying to understand me she got me all set up.
I found the gee-dee Etos and got the gee-dee ibuprofen WITH INSTRUCTIONS IN DUTCH and had to ask the gal at the counter about dosing. Because it’s not 200mg like home. FOR THE LOVE. I also did the lame tourist thing where I just held out my hand full of coins and asked her to figure out what I needed to pay her with. I didn’t have enough but she let me slide on the five cents. Are they cents? I don’t even know!
I am confuse by the Dutch stores, by the way. I think they’re specialized, so other stores don’t have things like ibuprofen? I stopped in several “supermarkets” where I could buy any manner of marry-wanner paraphernalia or “hemp” products but nary a pain reliever in sight. Well, I guess nary a Western Medicine pain reliever. I was about to call her and tell her she was going to have to go with medicinal marry-wanner but I don’t think she’s down with that.
I do have a new favorite store, by the way – it’s called Hema. I can’t quite figure it out…they have lots of weird stuff but NO MEDICINE. A guy at work told me it’s like a 7-11…but with home stuff? They have several small Hema’s in the train station and they have stuff like food items (grab and go) then around the corner: leggings. Then washi tape. And notebooks. And cards. And socks. It’s like 7-11 combined with Ikea. And H&M.
Anyhoo…I found a big Hema whilst out looking for Ibuprofen and in there I saw groceries. And a row of paint. And lots of washi tape. And make up. And underwears. And towels. So you’d think it’s like a Fred Meyer. But it’s not. NO IBUPROFEN. It’s bizarre. And awesome. But would be better with medicine.
OK – it’s noon. I’m off to the train station to head to work. What a day, man. What a day. I’m just a hillbilly from Florence, Oregon, where there were two stoplights. And when we moved there, you could dial your friends phone number by just using the last five digits. Small town. Walking around Amsterdam looking for a pharmacy is a far cry from two stoplight-town. I’m exhausted and homesick. And I’m not ashamed.