Getting Sick in Buenos Aires
Life as a traveler is a life full of excitement, you learn to ebb and flow with the constant change of surroundings, friends and acquaintances. Days are filled with things you have never seen, foods you have never tasted and experiences you have never experienced. As your environment changes you change, your perspective changes and you see the world and its people differently than before. Life as a traveller is to choose transience and a life a lot less ordinary. Now I will be the first to admit I choose to view life through my rose colored glasses however this unordinary life of mine reminded me this week that there are just a few certain boring ordinary life moments one can not escape from not matter how hard one tries. Today I am referring to the mundane task of catching a cold in winter.
As I watched a snotty nose teenager sneeze into his hand only to return said hand to the same pole I was grasping for balance on the subway I made a mental note to add hand sanitiser to my shopping list. Catching a cold in the city is surprisingly easy to do, as it is an any other large city around the world where you share public spaces such as buses and trains with A LOT of people. And some of those people are generous with their germs. It also doesn’t help that a Buenos Aires’ winter is rather a lot colder and damper than I had imagined and my current wardrobe really doesn’t make the grade. Despite the recent replenishment of merino it is still rather crisp most days. The result of all this being I am sick.
I’m in Argentina and I require a trip to the pharmacy
I am accustomed to buying my basic medicines such as throat lozenges or paracetamol from my local supermarket. But this is not how things work everywhere and here if I was going to medicate my cough and sneezes away I was going to need to speak with a pharmacist. Luckily the sight of pharmacies around the city is almost as common as pizzerias and parrillas.
The most popular Pharmacies or Farmacias in Buenos Aires Are:
- Farmacity (Everywhere in the City of Buenos Aires and the Province of Buenos Aires)
- Farmacia Vangate
- Farmacias del Dr. Ahorro
- Farmacia Rex
I was nervous about my impending trip to the pharmacy as medical vocabulary is not yet part of my basic Spanish repertoire. In my Spanish class that day I was able to role play the conversation with my teacher while she taught me some necessary key words, such as ‘toss’ (cough) and ‘me duele la cabeza’ (my head hurts). Thanks to that confidence boost I headed to the pharmacy around the corner, took a number from the small dispenser and waited to be called. The pharmacist was super friendly, even complimenting my Spanish and running around selecting options for me. After being offered children’s chewables among other similarly childish flavoured medicines I settled on a cherry and chocolate flavoured cough syrup as it did say it was for adults on the box. I have yet to determine how much of the flavoured medicine was on offer due to my ridiculously young looking babyface and how much is just the way medicine is here. I bought the cough syrup as well as some paracetamol for a grand total of 100 pesos, markedly cheaper than New Zealand or North America. And there was even enough left over for my boyfriend when he inevitably succumbed to the same cold a few days later.
Check my other blog: From New Zealand to Argentina
Getting sick or catching a cold is so common and everyday it was not something that crossed my mind while preparing to travel. However, especially during long term travel, it is probably going to happen. If you’re lucky maybe even more than once. As a compulsive planner I had planned for the worst case scenarios, I have medical insurance with all the bangs and whistles. I had planned plasters for my blisters during the long exciting days exploring and batteries for my cameras to capture every unforgettable landscape. I planned for excitement and adventure and memories that would fuel my soul. The one thing I didn’t plan for was for the boring and everyday to creep in. I didn’t plan to stay in early on a Friday night with a cold and cherry flavoured cough syrup.