Wednesday, November 18, 2009

IN WHICH: My Skin Freaks Out and I Mention the Word Nipple.

It's now Wednesday evening here in Kuraburi (we can't decide quite how to spell it) and between bug bites, heat and humidity, and general bacteria level (although most things are quite clean, and we certainly don't have digestion problems) my skin is rashing out like crazy. My allergic reaction to my bug bites has abated, thanks to DEET, which by the way I plan to build a shrine to when I get home, but my face, legs, and arms are taking the brunt of the new air. There were some great skin creams available over the counter in Bangkok, including excellent drugs like Differin and Retin-A that a girl would need a prescription for back at home, but I'm flying several more times before returning to Bangkok and I didn't want to check a bag yet.

Finally, in rural Thailand, here in a coastal fishing village, I realized I needed to address this growing problem and went to the local pharmacy. Here, of course, none of the labels are written in English like they are in the big Boots in Bangkok--say that three times fast--and C and I spent several amusing minutes trying to figure out which cream is good for what. We decided that most of the anti-fungal creams were actually meant for athlete's foot--in fact it was C who figured that out--and we ALSO discovered that a pharmacy in a small fishing village in rural Thailand doesn't have the best product turnover; namely, most of their stock expired in 2002. I finally bought a new-looking cream, even though the expiration date read '53--C and I hope that means 2053, or some random Thai date--that contained salicyclic acid and benzoic acid. Who knew a chemical engineering degree and a lifetime of reading skin cream labels would come in so handy? And then our world view was shaken to the core. The old man watching me buy it proceeded to make the most obscene gesture to me and C that I've ever seen. He pointed to me and rubbed his nipples.

Yes, he did.

But he didn't seem to be really leering about it--he kept gesturing to the cream. C and I finally decided that the cream was meant for nipple chafing or sore nipples, maybe for running or breastfeeding, but the ingredient list seemed so appropriate that I bought it anyway.

If I decide to use it somewhere besides my face, I will report back.

HI, MOM AND DAD! I mean, on my arms or legs or something. OBVIOUSLY.

No comments: