Saturday, October 07, 2006

At the counter

I made it through last week's having a cold and staying at home. I made it through a lot. Today I bought the hot water heater/kettle (pictured here with my french press coffee maker) I had my eyes on for a while to celebrate. Returned to the shop where I had looked it over and bought a scale recently. In that process, I had told the shopkeeper that I am learning Croatian, and I am a foreigner, so please be a bit patient with my language mistakes. Today he seemed to recognized me, in that impersonal and polite central european way. He helped me with the kettles. I was looking at one I liked and he said, here is the model with a nicer blue color. I said, ok. Then he saw me looking at another model, about 90 kunas compared to my 130 kuna model. He said, no don't by that one, it isn't good. No one in the US would have said that so directly to me. And probably no one selling something in the US knows about the product. And as a stranger, that advice was what I needed.
When I started feeling really ill last week, I crawled over to the pharmacy, just a few meters away. Again the routine with the language. The woman, the pharmacist, said, ok, which language do you want, English? And I said, yes please! (So glad that she didn't say German? English?). We talked about my sore throat, my cough, my exhaustion. She reached under the counter and came out with Maxflu and another product. I could feel my eyes grow wide. I asked her which is better. She said, Maxflu and put the other one away. Maxflu I can now say is great and will restore you from a cold after 36 hrs if you take it every 6 hrs. Then I asked about a thermometer. Then the issue of ferenheight to celcius. She said, you are ok to 38, and then after that, you need to see a doctor. Great. Oh, thank goodness for sales interactions of all kinds.