Culture Moment by Jim Weiss


When I was in Nice, France, the cold I'd felt scratching at the back of my throat in Paris was now in full flower.

I went to a pharmacy looking for relief. The pharmacist took a box of medication off the shelf, but seemed to have a fair bit she wanted to say to me before ringing it up.

Struggling for a moment with my broken French and her broken English, I finally figured out that she was obliged to go over all the indications of the cold medicine, plus its interactions and possible side effects.

This struck me as remarkable, since at home in New York you can barely get a pharmacist to say "hello" before banging the cash register closed and taking your money. On WhatsApp, a French friend of mine explained that European pharmacists are required to explain exactly what it is you're ingesting and how it might affect you.

What a concept...

Thank you to Jim Weiss of Avant Relo LLC, for contributing this striking Culture Moment!

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