Mar 12, 2013

Battling the mold

And minor fame at the pharmacy

I found the Psedoephedrine!
October 2011, I buy my first Chinese pseudoephedrine. Look how short my hair is! And how red!

This week, the senior lesson is all about drugs, so we’re showing them the “Chokin’ and Tokin’ ” episode of “Freaks and Geeks,” in which Lindsay experiments with marijuana. The B-plot centers around poor, sickly Bill, and the line wherein he explains that air is foremost among his many allergies has gotten a big laugh in every class.

But I feel for Bill. I’ve been taking allergy medicine of some sort since I was nine, and damp and rainy Luzhou is not a friendly place for allergy sufferers.

One of the first Chinese words I learned was 氯雷他定 (Loratadine), and six months in I was even able to start pronouncing it correctly. I’ve tracked down pseudoephedrine when expat message boards pronounced it unavailable in China. And I am a hyper-vigilant berserker waging a ceaseless war against the ever encroaching mold. (Pro-tip: bleach worked well, but vinegar works even better!) It makes me feel like a maniac sometimes, especially when our boss’ reaction to my complaints is along the lines of, “Oh yeah. Sometimes there’s mold.”

But my friendly neighborhood pharmacy workers have got my back. I got proof of how well my ailment is known the other day when one woman immediately went for a box of Loratadine the second I walked in the door. We all laughed. And I was able to keep the sneezing at bay for another 10mg x 10 pills.