The trouble with getting sick in another language is that you have to worry about things like accidentally knocking yourself out cold. I have not done this yet, but I could see it easily happening.
It all started 2 days ago when I developed a bit of a sore throat. It continued yesterday, so I asked my supervisor about stuff for a sore throat. He gave me some recommendations, so I trotted to the drugstore on my lunch break to try out my new Japanese vocabulary. Apparently, I need to lay off the trotting, because I wiped out on the ice again. Naturally, the top layer was somehow kind of muddy. Well, I picked myself up, dusted myself off (mudded myself off?), and resumed my travels.
Anyhoo, I was very proud to successfully find the stuff that I needed. By this time though, a little headache was starting, so I looked for something that looked like a pain reliever. The stuff with English was really expensive, so I bought the stuff next to it that looked similar. Don't worry, I asked my supervisor what it was before I took it. He thought it was funny.
Well, somehow by tonight, everything morphed into full-on sneezing, congestion, Niagara Falls, etc. Unfortunately, it was 9:00, and everything here closes super early. Well, I decided to take my chances and so I scooted over the ice to the nearest drugstore. Miraculously, it was still open. now I just had the problem of not knowing what the heck I was supposed to buy. Back home, I knew what everything looked like and would carefully scrutinize the ingredients to find the perfect combination for whatever was ailing me. Well, things worked out a little differently here. I grabbed a clerk, using my all-purpose "Sumimasen," which apparently means "I'm sorry," or "Excuse me," or "So, what do you think of the persimmon crisis in the Bronx?" Who really knows? Whatever it meant, it worked. It may also have been my confused look, I don't know. I find that combining a really confused look with whatever I'm saying seems to be quite effective.
My limited Japanese vocabulary is currently missing the words for congestion, etc, so I broke out the old faithful gestures. So, I stood there in the medicine section of Sapporo Drug miming sneezes, a runny nose, and watery eyes, etc. Somehow, the clerk knew what I needed (I think) and handed me a nice yellow box.
Now, what exactly it is, I don't know! I am not taking it tonight in case it's the knockout variety (I have to leave around 5:45am...blaaaaah). I have a feeling that my vocabulary is about to be enriched with words pertaining to colds, allergies, and sinus fun! It's amazing how the most mundane things become an adventure when they are tipped into another language!