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An Add Encounter at a Thai Pharmacy

Last updated Jan 14, 2022 | Published on Nov 30, 2017

November 5 & 6, 2017

I awoke on the morning of November 5th to find that Daniel had been up half the night with stomach troubles. He was pale and too exhausted to get out of bed. We assumed that his illness was the result of something that he ate or drank, but I had eaten most of the same food and felt fine. So the underlying cause was anyone’s guess.

Sunday Night Market Walking Street

In the evening I ventured out to explore the Chiang Mai Sunday Market, also known as Walking Street. Extending the full length of Ratchadamnoen Road in the center of the old walled part of town, the market showcases the art and craftsmanship of the Northern Thai people. The road was packed with four rows of vendor stalls and crammed with shoppers and tourists.

Lady Boys Pose for Selfies and Hand out Flyers at the Sunday Night Market

Lady Boys Pose for Selfies and Hand out Flyers at the Sunday Night Market

I spent a few pleasant hours wandering among the booths and watching the street musicians before heading back to the hotel. I was sad that Daniel had to miss this. He would have loved it.

Lanterns left over from the Yi Peng Festival

The next day, Daniel felt significantly better. He ate some of the snacks I had purchased the day before and decided to try venturing outside again. We realized we had neglected to bring along any Imodium, or similar type of medication, and decided to go out in search of some.

I recalled a pharmacy down the street that advertised an English-speaking pharmacist on staff, so we headed there. The minute we walked in the door, something seemed off about the place. The pharmacist sat in a back corner, ignoring us completely and listening to some very intense piano music. His head jerked from side to side and strange noises that sounded like bird chirps seemed to be emanating from his direction. I looked a little closer and confirmed that yes, indeed, the pharmacist was chirping like a bird. Ok. Weird.

That should have been our cue to leave. But we stayed and fruitlessly searched the dusty shelves. Eventually we gave up and asked the pharmacist for help. The music swelled to an intense crescendo as Daniel described his symptoms, feeling more uncomfortable and tense by the minute. The pharmacist shoved some boxes of medication in Daniel’s hands and asked for an exorbitant amount of money. Feeling flustered and confused, we paid for the medicine and fled the store.

Out on the sidewalk we discovered that the medication was Amoxicillin and some probiotics. Whoah! Not what we wanted at all. Later that day we found another pharmacy with completely normal employees who did not make bird noises and sold us some Imodium for only 1$. I guess it pays to shop around.

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1 Comment

  1. Rod

    My kind of drug store 😋. I bet the lady boys coulda helped 😉


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