Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Trips to the Farmacia in Montepulciano

The good news is that I have had a chance to visit the farmacia a few times. The bad news is that I am visiting because I have not been feeling well. I'm not sure of the reason - maybe a virus because another student I have been around has also been sick. Anyway, their faramacias are much different than ours. Just about anything you need, you have to ask the pharmacist for.

On the counters there are baby food and baby items, lotions and creams and some vitamins. In the first farmacia I had to ask the pharmacist for aspirin. It cost almost 6 euro for 20 aspirin there. When I went to the second farmacia, they had the same aspirin on a shelf on "sale" for 3.90 euro. So, after going in for headaches, I then had a problem with my eye, so I went back for eyedrops. The day before yesterday I started getting flu-like symptoms; headache, upset stomach and achy. I went back to the faramacia and the pharmacist said they sell medicine for headache/aches OR upset stomach - not together. So, I decided to only get the headache/achy medicine and I got the stuff you put in hot liquid. I also bought a packet of chicken noodle soup. That was not easy to find. They have very few prepared meals on the shelves and no cans of soup.

When I came home, I fumbled around trying to ask Fiorella for a cup of hot water - not tea. She finally boiled some water and then threw it out because she had boiled it! I told her that boiled water was fine, so she had to boil another pot. Then I asked if I could make the soup (zuppa) and she said she would make it. It was obvious that she doesn't make any pre-mixed foods because she had to read the directions thoroughly to see how to make it - 4 cups of water in a pan with the soup mix :)

I had a bit of a breakdown with frustration over not being able to communicate with her. It just makes me crazy that I can't say much. And when I want to talk I realize that we didn't learn the words I want to say, like "I'm starting to feel better", or "The dogs are getting along very well". I can ask her her name, how she is doing and tell her I am taking Seymour for a walk or to school, but that takes me down a dead end street.

On top of that, my new room mate speaks fluent Italian and she and Fiorella have great conversations, unfortunately I don't know about what. I am happy for both of them but wish I could join in.

OK, I am back to complaining a bit, but I am still thrilled to be here and am diligently trying to understand what is said in class and do my homework. I only have 1 1/2 more weeks here before Seymour and I are off on our own so I know I'll get a little better with the language.

Speaking of class, we are now in a new, smaller classroom since our class is smaller. It has large shuttered windows that open to a barred balcony. We are considered to be on the first floor, but it the USA it would be the second. During class Seymour wandered over to the window (which starts at floor level) and stuck his head through the bars like he was ready to leave. I almost fell out of my chair running for him. He is becoming quite the independent guy. When he's done with class, he's done!


  1. It's a lonely feeling not being able to join in the conversation. Wish your old roomie was still there to help make you a part of it. :( Hope you start feeling better, healthwise and otherwise. Miss and love you in Wimberley!

  2. What is your new room mates name and does
    she speak any English? Did you take pictures of a parade? What about pictures of your host and roomies? I hope you start
    to feel better soon. mary

  3. All is well with my new room mate. We talked and things are fine. I think I was just feeling insecure. susan