Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Me: 1 Volcanic Ash: 0

I was creating every possible scenario of what could go wrong on my recent trip (as I always do) and of course none of it happened and it was a successful and fun time. That pretty much does it for me as far as summer vacation (till the very end of August anyway) but I figure I miss the biggest crowds this way.

"Across the pond" I am struck by how much people do rely on public transportation -- trains and subways in particular. It seems like there is always a crush of people and the strain on the system has got to be relentless. There's always some sort of maintenance work going on and disruptions in service are an ever-present possibility. Not that we had any problems, but after a few days of being on the move things can get nerve-jangling.

In several of the train stations, as well as at the airport, I took note of occasional signs which read "Abuse of Staff will not be Tolerated", followed by a warning about said abuse and what penalties could be incurred. My first thought was that it's unfortunate such signs are necessary. My second thought was, where can I get hold of one of those signs?.... you know, for those special days in the pharmacy. Yelling at me because your doctor hasn't authorized a refill has about the same result as yelling at a ticket agent to get the trains running on time.

Ultimately, we just have to abide by that other phrase they use over there: "Keep Calm and Carry On."


Grumpy, M.D. said...

I want one of those to put over Mary's desk.

Anonymous said...

Where did you go? What were the pharmacies like? Did you see any 'chain gangs'?

When I visited, it was spring holiday and found no 'crushes' (everyone was out of town). I found the public transportation system experience was great, no signs about the need to observe more politeness...(Berlin, Moscow, Vienna) but did not speak the languages, and was still rather shocked to see real working
'trolleys' in major European cities.

rxmonster said...

That's funny, my FIRST thought on seeing the no abusing staff signs at Getwick was "we need one of those at work." Did you notice how calm and pleasent the staff was? Last trip I even brought back a "keep calm and carry on" magnet that is now strategically placed in our dipensing area.

It's too bad you weren't delayed by ash; I would love a couple more days in europe. I don't think I could drag myself into the cage o'pills every day if it didn't mean I had the money to travel. Glad you had a good time.

Frantic Pharmacist said...

Dang it, now I do wish I had bought a "Keep Calm" sign to bring back.
My trip was confined to the U.K. and again I was interested to find a strong presence of homeopathic remedies in the pharmacies. I saw things like Zovirax ointment out on the OTC shelves (prescription only in the U.S. and very expensive). They have a subset of other products which are OTC but kept behind the counter so you just need to ask for them... some steroid nasal sprays, like Nasacort, as well as products with 8mg of codeine per tablet, like "Tylenol #1". They also appear to keep Sudafed behind the counter, like we do here. They also had many variations on "Nurofen" (ibuprofen) including a melt-in-your-mouth version. I wish I had more time to snoop -- the staff probably wondered what the heck I was doing!!

Phathead said...

Tell you what, you buy me a plane ticket over there and get me a case of Newcastle and you'll get your sign.

Just don't ask how I got ahold of it.