Monday, October 31, 2005

Confessions of an English Cold Remedy Eater

With the weather here going from cold and wet, to suddenly sunny at the end of October, it's no wonder that colds and flus abound. Bang on cue, my throat began to feel abrased and my head like it had digested something it didn't like. I knew sniffling and only feeling acceptable if languishing in bed were not too far behind. In the end the flu that hit me was over pretty quickly in all departments except the throat which continued to feel like it had a rather fat and rough toad stuck in if for several days.

The one thing this did bring to my attention is that you cannot get Lemsip here. The thing I do remember from the UK was that when I had a cold, there was a whole array of treatments on offer that did usually seem to help. There was a variety, too. Those that warned of "drowsiness" as a side effect, were great for last thing at night, and the "non-drowsy" ones actually seemed to keep you awake.

In the Netherlands there are two interchangable products that are not really any better than having a warm, lemon drink (which is a very good thing if you have a cold or flu, but if a warm, lemon drink was working, you wouldn't be in the chemist (like, pharmacist) trying to buy something with chemicals in the first place. Well, I wouldn't.) For some reason the UK products are banned here. That's right, in the land of the tolerant drug laws and legalised "coffeeshops" where you can buy soft drugs over the counter, Lemsip is a banned substance. Lemsip!

When the recent flu hit, I lamented this, but a friend of mine, whom I will call "My Dealer," had some that she had brought back from a trip to England.

Now one reason for this ban could be that the "non-drowsy" agent is in fact related to speed. Distantly related. Probably the same distant relationship that Mickey Mouse has with Speedy Gonzales. But this doesn't make too much sense, really. And means that it is easier to get ahold of actual Speed than it is to get hold of its helpful, distant cousin.

To answer this, I have decided to open up a "Coughingshop" where sick people can go and get illicit drugs such as Lemsip and Beechams. Now you'll know where to go if you're ever in the Netherlands and you want to score some Night Nurse.

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