Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Deal Goes Down

A funny thing happened as I left the Chalabre pharmacie the other day. It took awhile before it hit me what the pharmacist had said. When I related the story to some friends at the marche gourmande last night in Leran, Doug commented, "This would never happen in America". He's probably right.

Earlier in the week we had stopped by a pharmacie in Mirepoix to inquire about getting our prescriptions filled. I was told that my medication wasn't sold in France, which puzzled me (as most things here do) because last January I purchased the same med a few km away in Chalabre. So, a few days later I took my pill bottle to Chalabre and the young lady said it would be ready "apres midi" or, in the afternoon. I told her I would be back the next day.

We stopped in Chalabre on the way to our French lesson Thursday, and a gentleman sadly informed me once again, "Apres midi". I suppose my disappointed face combined with, "Je habite en Leran," indicated that I really didn't want to make yet another trip. When I said Leran, however, his eyes lit up, and I caught the words, "Je mange a marche gourmande" accompanied by the universal sign language of eating and a huge smile. Still not certain where this was going, he said in English, "I bring".

There are several hundred people at the marche gourmande, everyone milling around. By the time things settle down, it is getting dark. How was I ever supposed to connect with someone I barely recognized, whose name I didn't know, never set a time to meet or left a phone number? All I remember saying to him was, "Le Leran Bar? D'accord!"

We were sitting at a table at the Leran Bar laughing about me making my drug deal right there on Cours St. Jacques, when, as if he were wearing a pink lycra suit I picked him out of the pack headed our way. Just like in the movies, I grabbed my dossier, handed it to him, he passed off the goods and with a profound "merci" I was on my way. Never, never in America.


Judy said...

Monsiour Doog; Too bad that we don't live closer for Ron has a monks habit you could borrow.
Years ago when we lived in Norman, OK , the Univ. of OK had a Medieval Fair. Ron borrowed a brown habit from a local monk for so many years that the monk finally gave it to him.
Ron would roam around the fair with a basket of relics. He would show them to the crowd and give 'indulgences.'
We had fun with the relics and the Catholics loved them and the Baptists were horrified. He had a clear plastic box that held $1.35...the tip left at the Last Supper; an old wooden door knob on which Mary hit her head when she fainted after she found out she was with child; and the best one was a stuffed animal that resembled a rooster on which I had glued a real chicken beak...this was the rooster that crowed 3 times and so on. He was uncovered in a rooster burial ground in Israel. Judy

Anonymous said...

Nancy, I love this story of your drug deal. It really does exemplify the difference between us, doesn't it? I must admit now that I stole a book from your house in Moab about a guy living in France who is centering his writings on the 5 star restaurant in the town he lives in. Between reading that book and your blog I am just about to explode! I must figure out a way to get me to France and not just for a week but for a "longue sejours". Oh, this is killing me.....

Anonymous said...

Luke is calling the're developing "bad habits" in France! You will "corrupt" your fellow Americans with your "fast and loose" attitudes about drugs when you return to the states! HA! HA!

You are definitely correct about that never happening in America!

Harley said...

Darn! I just wrote a comment and my computer ate it for supper. If this appears twice, just ignore it:
Your tale of the kindly gourmand pharmacist reminded me of an episode that occurred when we were in Provence for a couple of weeks two years ago. Some important, expensive (!) eye drops got contaminated, so I took the container to a pharmacist in Aix and asked for a replacement. I was gravely told that it was impossible to give me the drops without a prescription. Then the pharmacist asked me how many bottles I needed! (The French specialize in creating cognitive dissonance.) Reeling from that happy shock but fearing a huge expense not covered by insurance, I told her that I only needed one. The charge was under $15, less than 10% of the co-pay for the same medication by the same manufacturer under my prescription plan in the States!
(I wish I had gotten ten.) This disparity between US and French prices says something, I'm not quite sure what, about the US pharmaceutical industry, but I know it ain't good!