petite anglaise

December 12, 2006


Filed under: misc — petiteanglaiseparis @ 1:22 am

I’ve been rather quiet of late, I realise, and this has much to do with the fact that I have to pause to cough approximately every thirty seconds and that makes most endeavours Extremely Tiresome Indeed. The worst things, I find, are cleaning my teeth and reading bedtime stories. I’m guaranteed to go into a paroxysm of noisy, eye watering coughing within seconds of inserting a toothbrush or attempting the opening sentence of “Mog’s Christmas”.

And while my French is pretty convincing these days in most situations not involving the word “frog”, I do find it tends to let me down when talking about prescription drugs and ailments. Some progress has undoubtedly been made since that fateful day a decade ago when I had an entire chemist’s shop in fits of laughter after earnestly explaining that I was suffering from a small British songbird. But there are gaping holes in my pharmaceutical vocabulary, all the same.

On Saturday, having finished swigging my Tesco chesty cough syrup from the bottle, I decided to brave one of the six pharmacies within a 100 metre radius of my apartment. Naturally I chose the one with the most attractive male assistant.

Bonjour,” I said with a smile. “J’aimerais un sirop contre la toux.” I delved into my mind for the French for a chesty cough, but drew a blank. A dry cough is most definitely a “toux sèche”, but is a chesty cough a “toux grasse”? The phrase conjured up a rather unattractive, greasy mental image so I decided against it.

C’est quel type de toux?” enquired the attractive young gentleman, as I knew he would. The simplest course of action would probably have been to give a short, spontaneous demonstration at this juncture, but for the first time that day I found myself unable to perform.

Euh. Ce n’est pas une toux sèche. Ca vient vraiment des poumons…” I replied, paraphrasing hopefully, although I’m guessing that few types of cough don’t involve lungs.

Les bronches, vous voulez dire?” Ah, pardon me, not my lungs, my bronchial tubes. Where ailments are concerned in French, the more technical the term, the better. This is after all the country where a common cold is referred to as a rhinopharyngite.

“Oui. Je vais voir un médecin si ça persiste… c’est un peu dégueulasse.” Oh, how I wished I could have taken that last comment back, on the grounds that it constituted too much information. But no, it was too late, he was now going to pursue another line of questioning and seek to ascertain the precise colour of my phlegm.

Ah, c’est coloré?

Oui, effectivement,” I stuttered, mortified. I should have stuck with “toux grasse”. Why in god’s name didn’t I trust my instincts and go with “toux grasse”?

I took the bottle and inspected it. No codeine, more’s the pity.

Je peux vous proposer autre chose aussi,” added the attractive pharmacist. I eyed him suspiciously. An expectorant suppository perhaps? Some sea water to squirt up my nose?

A few minutes later, my wallet considerably lighter, I stepped back out into the drizzle and inspected my purchase dejectedly. Nose drops. Water, bicarbonate of soda and some parabens for good measure. A carcinogenic cocktail to “pulverise” my nostrils with, four times a day.

If the attractive pharmacist hadn’t scrawled his phone number on the back of the receipt, I think I would have wept.


  1. I’m with you on that. I also HATE it when they ask me to describe *what* I cough.

    Comment by Laure — December 12, 2006 @ 1:31 am

  2. What!! His phone number was also part of the prescription! Haha, you’re way too fierce for me! lol

    LOVE that story!

    Comment by Mlle Smith — December 12, 2006 @ 1:36 am

  3. Did he offer to come over and “make it all better”…? Sorry, but I couldn’t resist throwing that one in there. :0)

    Comment by Mlle Smith — December 12, 2006 @ 1:38 am

  4. Or maybe even a game of doctor and….okay, okay this is just way to easy…

    Comment by Mlle Smith — December 12, 2006 @ 1:41 am

  5. HIS PHONE NUMBER?!!!!!!!!! Well??? Tell us more!!…

    Comment by suze — December 12, 2006 @ 1:43 am

  6. I was at the doctor’s office for a regular check-up last year and mentioned in passing that I had a bit of a cough.

    Well,the kind doctor wrote me a prescription and it wasn’t until the pharmacist started piling the little boxes of French medication in front of me that I realized the doctor had prescribed no fewer than FIVE different medicines. Five! For a little cough.

    I looked at the pharmacist in disbelief and said “but all I have is a cough.” Which was met with: “well if you didn’t want to listen to the doctor why did go in the first place?”

    I picked the three that looked most useful and got out of there before I could be scolded again.

    Gotta love the French and their overmedicated ways…

    Comment by Laura — December 12, 2006 @ 2:01 am

  7. Wow… nose drops, and maybe a date with a cute pharmacist? Now THAT’s just what the doctor ordered! I’m making mental notes of all this vocab for future reference but hopefully I won’t need it. I’m dreading having to communicate if I’m sick or even if I need to talk to someone about filling my American prescription meds here.

    Comment by The Bold Soul — December 12, 2006 @ 2:09 am

  8. Wishing you a speedy recovery…..though not if it hinders a repeat visit to the attractive pharmacist! :)

    Comment by Karen Mc Cullagh — December 12, 2006 @ 2:32 am

  9. haha, I don’t understand the French pharmacy/doctors either. I have a tube in my ear that was getting infected. First they thought the tube was the most barbaric thing they had ever seen (it’s not uncommon in the US even if I am a little old to have them normally) and then they told me to wash my ear out with some water concoction twice a day. Talk about making it worse!

    Comment by techgirl — December 12, 2006 @ 2:52 am

  10. How are you coping with the small English songbird and how are you coping with your raging hormones.

    Comment by Craig — December 12, 2006 @ 3:55 am

  11. It’s easy, just keep coughing musically and let the pharmacist hear with his expert ears hehe
    : )

    Comment by Rog — December 12, 2006 @ 4:45 am

  12. You go girl!

    Comment by Sam — December 12, 2006 @ 4:52 am

  13. Petite, you finally sucked me in (to commenting). My best cough syrup ever is one I got in a St-Tropez pharmacie. I am down to about 1-1/2 doses left and I’m in a panic. I’ll make a deal: I’ll tell you the name and if it works for you, maybe you will be my French Connection to replenish my supply!

    It does have codeine, but it must be fairly mild because I can’t tolerate codeine extremely well and this one never bothers me (except with blessed relief). It is called:

    “potion a l’hedera codeine.”

    The word l’hedera (sorry, I can’t put the acute accents over the e’s) is in black while the other words are white, so I’m not sure if the brand is just l’hedera, or the entire phrase. As I recall I did my personal coughing routine for the pharmacist (I’m a Yank; chemist to you.) and this is what he/she handed me. It was several years ago, so you see I have rationed myself. But it is a magic potion for sure. Email me if you want more info–you have my sympathy as I’ve just recovered from something similar. (So there IS hope.)

    Comment by Jane Ann — December 12, 2006 @ 5:48 am

  14. you can talk to a chemist without a prescription???
    Here, they usually just point…

    Comment by eric — December 12, 2006 @ 6:40 am

  15. j’ai le toux aussi! but there are no good looking pharmacists in my neck of the woods. just a local drugstore, choose your cough syrup to your heart’s content and pay at the counter. very boring.

    Comment by epikuryooz — December 12, 2006 @ 7:12 am

  16. I remember the sea water spray when I lived in Paris. And the massive list of drugs the doc prescribed. What about some Lemsip and a blanket instead?

    Did you call the attractive pharmacist yet? Get him to come on over and take your temperature.

    Comment by Izzy — December 12, 2006 @ 8:02 am

  17. You have to admit mushrooms are more logical than songbirds – Fluimicil worked well when I had brown cowtis last year. Am suffering too. Take care

    Comment by j — December 12, 2006 @ 8:08 am

  18. I like pharmacists who take their job that seriously. Surely he didn’t want you to cry…

    Good for you!

    Comment by Elle — December 12, 2006 @ 8:13 am

  19. Do you feel better ?
    I hope so.

    Comment by Henri-Pierre — December 12, 2006 @ 8:46 am

  20. With the incidence of tuberculosis increasing quite dramatically in Europe, doctors (and pharmacists) tend to be a little more cautious about coughs these days. The colour of the sputum might be diagnostic.

    Comment by Jim — December 12, 2006 @ 9:28 am

  21. When I don’t want to bother with going to a doctor, I enter a pharmacy as an American tourist and give my symptoms in bad French and sign language and usually get what I need. A doctor once gave me a prescription for five drugs for a cold I had casually mentioned although I was there for something gynecolgical. I din’t get any of the meds, especially the antibiotic which I save for serious things.

    Comment by Linda — December 12, 2006 @ 9:44 am

  22. Phone number?

    Not at all: recipe ;°)

    Comment by Saluki — December 12, 2006 @ 9:50 am

  23. When I worked in Paris many years ago, I too had a bout of English Songbird. My French was nonexistant and as I worked as a nanny to a baby I never got to practice, so eventually had to go to the pharmacist and whistle whilst pointing to my nether regions…

    Comment by Welsh Cake — December 12, 2006 @ 9:55 am

  24. Oh, how exciting. Nobody’s ever scrawled their phone number on the back of anything for me. Well, a barman in Croydon did once but I practically had to beg him for it.

    I wonder if people will start scrawling their blog addresses now, instead of their phone numbers.

    Comment by Annie Rhiannon Atkins — December 12, 2006 @ 10:32 am

  25. If you want to get rid of the mucus of your lung well i can recomend you Mucovist , it’s a good stuff (c’est un expectorant) and you can contain vitamin with it . I know how you feel my dad is english and i understand perfectly your franglais as i am a french girl leaving an english life! So i think the pharmacist was a bit nauty! Prompt retablissement! ;)

    Comment by diane from gibraltar — December 12, 2006 @ 11:18 am

  26. I’m glad I’m not the only one who embarasses herself with medical French. I once had the emergency staff at Purpain hospital laughing when I went in with a sharp pain in my rognons. Curse that French class which concentrated on dining out and shopping…

    Comment by Lisa Hardi — December 12, 2006 @ 11:27 am

  27. Oh well……

    Think of it this way. He is attractive, and clearly despite your coloured phlegm, liquid filled lungs, streaming nose and clear extreme under the weatherednesss he still obviously finds you attractive.

    So…….. as in Bridget Jones. He likes you for what you are – now. So there’s a fair guarantee that he will always find you attractive!

    What are you waiting for?!!!!!


    p.s. Coughs are miserable though. They really wear you down. I do hope that you get better very soon. I find that the damp atmosphere can make it worse too. If Paris is as damp as it is here currently, then you will probably be suffering from that too. I’ll start wishing you better and if everyone else who reads this blog does that too, then maybe you’ll be better extra quickly!!

    Comment by Sally Lomax — December 12, 2006 @ 11:29 am

  28. Wow, a pharmacist. Very good catch: I’ve never seen a poor French pharmacist. Get in there!

    Comment by Mancunian Lass — December 12, 2006 @ 11:30 am

  29. Wow, a pharmacist. Very good catch: I’ve never met a poor French pharmacist. Get in there!

    Comment by Mancunian Lass — December 12, 2006 @ 11:31 am

  30. Well that’s one way to cheer a girl, almost seems to make it worth having the darn toux in the first place.

    Hope you’re better soon, though not without having to call the Pharmacist!

    Meanwhile – aren’t there any decent French-English dictionaries? I have one left me by my daughter, who used it for GCSE. It rarely seems to have the words I want to look up, but it’s a pocket Dictionnaire so I’m not surprised.

    Comment by Sharon — December 12, 2006 @ 12:13 pm

  31. I walk around in perfect health most of the time and no one ever wants to give me their number on the back of anything!

    Maybe that’s where I’m going wrong – maybe it was the phlegm wot done it…

    How do you get sexy phlegm anyway?

    Comment by Angelina — December 12, 2006 @ 12:33 pm

  32. What I love about Europe is that they still give you advice in pharmacies. In the US I don’t get any advice on choosing types of medicine probably because they are afraid to give advice (possible lawsuits?).

    Comment by Veerle — December 12, 2006 @ 12:45 pm

  33. I think the “Carnet de Santé” says it all…in the UK, I had barely more than a scrap of paper which had all my vaccinations etc written on it but in France you get a whole BOOK which includes your weight, height, illnesses etc until you are 18. I’m sure Tadpole has one!
    Well done on the phone number…why does that kind of thing never happen to me??!

    Comment by Hannah Banana — December 12, 2006 @ 12:51 pm

  34. Lucky guy.

    Comment by adrian — December 12, 2006 @ 1:30 pm

  35. Sounds like an axe murderer to me.
    “avec cell-ci madame” et “avec celle-la madame”

    Comment by Carruthers — December 12, 2006 @ 1:32 pm

  36. I feel for you Petite, with your cough. I recently had contact with French medical specialists with a wound of my own.

    By the way, as we all do, you confused genders — in this case for “la toux”. Don’t let anyone say that you speak French like Jane Birken does, as some French have told me.

    Comment by Lost in France — December 12, 2006 @ 1:40 pm

  37. No wonder you were smiling Saturday night…

    Comment by Meg — December 12, 2006 @ 1:49 pm

  38. I have had the same experience with doctors in France and in Greece. My young daughter had the back of an earring go into her earlobe. It was lodged in a way that I just couldn’t get it out. A Greek physician got it out, but then prescribed 6 medications! One was one heavy duty antibiotic. I didn’t fill them all. I just kept it clean, and put a little antibacterial ointment on it. It was fine.

    Here in the US there is great concern about the overuse of antibiotics. It used to be that antibiotics were prescribed for ear infections in children. Now they take a more “wait and see” attitude. Is there no concern over the overuse of antibiotics in Europe? Just curious.

    I know when I lived in San Franscisco I found that you had to really, really be sick in order to get an antibiotic. Things aren’t quite as rigid on the East Coast where I live now.

    Hope you feel better, petite.

    Comment by Elle — December 12, 2006 @ 2:38 pm

  39. Very funny post!
    Look forward to seeing if you contact him…

    Comment by Jude — December 12, 2006 @ 2:52 pm

  40. ah yes, gender reassignment is a speciality of mine

    Comment by petite — December 12, 2006 @ 3:22 pm

  41. Petite, I hope he finds you as attractive when you’re healthy. He might be one of these guys who needs to be needed.

    You’ll have to test him out by going back next week to buy some, oh, I don’t know, eye liner or something. Maybe lipstick.

    “What do you think of this colour, would you ask me out if I had lips this colour? [* pouts *] What about if I wore this mascara? [* bats eyelids *] Ouch, I think I’ve got something in my eye, can you help me? Can you see it? Maybe you need to come closer? Nothing? Closer?”

    Comment by Damian — December 12, 2006 @ 3:36 pm

  42. You are feeling rough, you are coughing all over the place and you can still get a guys phone number, even after telling him all about your phlegm? How do you do it? I can’t even get phone numbers when I’m healthy.

    Comment by Ignorminious — December 12, 2006 @ 3:47 pm

  43. I was going to make an observation about half this story about the phone number not being here, but nobody is going to read this comment anyway, being 5 miles down like it is…

    Comment by Jonathan — December 12, 2006 @ 4:06 pm

  44. “I had an entire chemist’s shop in fits of laughter after earnestly explaining that I was suffering from a small British songbird.”

    One must wonder how they would have reacted if you used the phrase, “I have a frog in my throat.” Gender reassignment would have been the least of your problems….;-)

    Comment by Dave of the Lake — December 12, 2006 @ 4:12 pm

  45. get well soon Petite, and well done on getting that number!

    Not sure I’d even attempt to pull anyone when feeling under the weather, i take my hat off to you!

    Comment by gerbil — December 12, 2006 @ 4:42 pm

  46. Don’t know if you can get them in Fr. but I get ‘cough pearls’ (no sugar for diabetics) that are _wonderful_. they’re tiny, translucent yellow, and the US generic name is Benzonatate.

    And, as gross as it is to describe, the color is important – you can tell if it’s viral or bacterial (yellow vs green)

    Comment by Alice — December 12, 2006 @ 5:01 pm

  47. wot? no suppositoires?

    Comment by mad muthas — December 12, 2006 @ 5:55 pm

  48. “syrop” = English-French mix of syrup and sirop

    Comment by Kai Carver — December 12, 2006 @ 6:09 pm

  49. Thanks for that Alice. I didn’t realise yellow V green had a meaning – I thought they were places on a spectrum of getting-betterness. I shall get better better next time I am unwell.

    Comment by Damian — December 12, 2006 @ 6:36 pm

  50. Merci first, for the French lesson, and second for the fabulous story. Cannot wait for the follow up…

    Comment by Novel Nymph — December 12, 2006 @ 6:56 pm

  51. He sounds pretty sick to me, Petite. Probably just a cashier pretending to be a pharamacist and making ends meet by working as male prostitute on the side. It’s sad I know, but Paris is Paris after all.
    And you might get more than you paid for and end up wishing you had a dirty wet cough instead.
    That’s my tuppence worth.

    Comment by Trevor — December 12, 2006 @ 7:27 pm

  52. I am impressed with the lengths you are prepared to go to in order to get a date… I’m sure this pharmacist was, too!

    Comment by ontario frog — December 12, 2006 @ 7:55 pm

  53. By the way is your sister recovered? Has she had her gallbladder removed? Will you be with her and your parents for Christmas?

    Comment by Welsh Cake — December 12, 2006 @ 8:13 pm

  54. Reading about how you walked into a pharmacy hacking up a lung and walked out with a phone number reminds of a strange phenomenon that I have noticed myself- the sicker, crankier, more hungover I am, the more attractive I seem to be to the opposite sex. Its always when I really REALLY don’t feel like it that the cute waiter at the cafe on the corner starts flirting with me over the bill. Or some sexy stranger holds the door for me and offers to carry my bags. Etc. Why? Are pheromones stronger when you’re ill? Do guys really like that authentic I-just-rolled-out-of-bed look? Baffling…

    Comment by Nicole — December 12, 2006 @ 8:24 pm

  55. Phone Number? Maybe he wanted to make sure you were getting enough sleep (or action).

    Comment by creative-type dad — December 12, 2006 @ 8:25 pm

  56. When I spent a semester in France I was lucky enough to board with a woman whose son was a pharmacist, so I rarely had to venture into the world of medicinal French. The one time I did was truly memorable.

    I wanted some tissues for my runny nose, but I drew a blank on “mouchoirs.” Deciding, like you, to improvise, I asked for “ces choses de papier.” The nice lady behind the counter produced a box of tampons. Well, my nose WAS pretty runny, but the image of myself with one tucked into each nostril reduced me to hysterics.

    When I recovered, I decided pantomime was my only option. So I requested, “les choses pour fair [makes as if to blow nose loudly].” To which said nice lady replied, “Bah oui, les kleenex.”

    After that it was the self-serve aisle in Monoprix for me.

    Comment by Rubiatonta — December 12, 2006 @ 8:26 pm

  57. I hope you get to feelin’ better, doll! :)

    Comment by Bob King Neverland III — December 12, 2006 @ 8:54 pm

  58. Hmm, Lucky you didn’t have to explain a case of acute gonococcal perihepatitis. Hope you’re feeling better.

    Comment by Peter Franckly — December 12, 2006 @ 9:11 pm

  59. If you’ve got a chesty cough don’t use a medicine with codeine,it suppresses the cough and so you don’t clear the lovely phlegm off your chest thus possibly leading to a chest infection….nice

    My advice for cheap and effective,is paracetamol,an antihistamine to dry up the runny nose and some nice steam to loosen all that phlegm….

    drop me an email if you ever need any pharmaceutical advice! although now you’ve got the sexy boys number you may be sorted!

    Comment by katie — December 12, 2006 @ 9:44 pm

  60. Again, such a lovely story…it has no end…it is a happy one?
    I guess it is something about your french accent…otherwise I cannot find any relevant explanation for the phone number…on the back of the receipt?!

    Comment by Momo — December 12, 2006 @ 10:08 pm

  61. I’ve boarded many the woaman
    Never a word of thanks.

    Comment by Trevor — December 12, 2006 @ 10:16 pm

  62. Perhaps I sound a bit old-fashioned,
    but if a lady behind some shop counter were to leave me her own telephone number on the back of some docket after taking my purchases, well the only conclusion I would come would be that lady in question was a female prostitute!
    Go on and guffawh auh and giggle to your heart’s content, I’m out of this place.

    Comment by Trevor — December 12, 2006 @ 10:36 pm

  63. La pauvre! Hope Tadpole is taking good care of you;-)

    PS Never had a pharmacist slip me a number (thank goodness, if you know what I mean), but a cop once did. ON A BACK OF A SPEEDING TICKET! Needless to say, I never called him…

    Comment by Isabella — December 12, 2006 @ 11:05 pm

  64. My father in law here in France is a doctor, and every time I get a cold I’m supposed to basically snort salt water (or use those nose sprays/drops). They do seem to be obsessed with this here. But I have to give it to them, when you do it right it *does* clear out your nose.

    Comment by O. — December 12, 2006 @ 11:05 pm

  65. Well done, darlin’! I hope you’re feeling better (and that you’ve called that cute pharmacist). :D

    Comment by Sophmom — December 12, 2006 @ 11:25 pm

  66. I’ve been reading you for a while now so just reaching out across la manche to say salut!

    I have also been suffering this week (with flu)-loved the tale about the songbird! :0)

    hope you feel better soon


    Comment by Justine — December 13, 2006 @ 12:56 am

  67. Another delightful post petite; thanks.

    Hanna, kids in the UK now get a red loose-leaf book which records such data as height, weight vaccinations etc AND has growth charts so you can worry about how they’re doing against their peers just to add to all the other comparative data that we have thrown at us.

    Comment by alan — December 13, 2006 @ 1:25 am

  68. I used to get my expat sister to do the technical/medical French stuff for me until one day she asked the lady sales rep (in French) if she had any timber preservative and after recovering from her hilarity attack the rep shrieked, “You have just asked for a Wood Condom for your brother!”

    Obviously, your pharmacy assistant was actually thinking, “Je peux vous proposer autre chose aussi (pour le weekend)?”

    When travelling alone through Portugal years ago I ordered a restaurant meal by pointing, smiling and nodding at the waiter in the manner of the monoglot Englishman I was. I also enquired the whereabouts of a phone, to call my family, using the fist-to-the-right-ear, thumb-and-little-finger-outstretched, technique, which was met with more nodding and smiling. The meal over, the bill settled, I returned to the matter of a phone. I must have one. I mimed the international telephone gesture again. The waiter returned, pulled out his notebook, wrote in it, tore out the page with a flourish, and presented to me….his home address and phone number.
    Perhaps it’s best not to press things too hard when abroad. That way, at least some misunderstandings can be avoided.

    Comment by andrew — December 13, 2006 @ 1:45 am

  69. Oh.My.God. What color of mucus?? I could never face that person again as long as I lived. Then again, I can’t be funny when I’m ill either. Good Job – made me laugh aloud.

    Comment by Susan — December 13, 2006 @ 4:56 am

  70. Man! you’re a smooth operator petite (even when ill)

    hope you get well soon

    Comment by David Giorgi | Expat France — December 13, 2006 @ 7:14 am

  71. Man! you’re a smooth operator petite (even when ill)

    hope you get well soon

    Comment by David Giorgi | Expat France — December 13, 2006 @ 7:14 am

  72. Hope you”ll feel better soon, Petite…

    I wonder if you’ll eventually (or already) call him back…

    Comment by Sophie — December 13, 2006 @ 7:16 am

  73. I agree some doctors and pharmacists over medicate you but still, it is generally admitted medication in France is good. Some people even come from abroad for being healed over here. This time, Petite got a phone number for free, as a bonus. This guy must be a secret reader of this blog hehe.

    Comment by Rog — December 13, 2006 @ 9:25 am

  74. My biggest fox paw in Germany was going into a chemist’s and asking for contact lens solution “containing no preservatives”. Unfortunately, due to my infallible ability to guess at German, I actually asked “ohne Preservitaeten”, which unfortunately means “with no condoms, please”.

    Also – would Tadpole like some English reading books? I could hunt out a couple from my daughter (we moving again) and send them over.

    Comment by Rachel in Perth — December 13, 2006 @ 12:55 pm

  75. Hi Petite

    I’m in the same boat as you – coughing and spluttering for 4 days now. My better half has taken to sleeping in another room! The cheek of it!!

    I hope you get well soon. Sancerre has been helping me get to sleep.

    Comment by Jen — December 13, 2006 @ 1:22 pm

  76. Perhaps Damian is right………I hope not though Damian, because it would be nice for Petite if he turned out to be Mr. Perfect.

    However….. Pharmacists aren’t normally poor, so it’s worth at least one nice date to find out whether or not he likes you well too….

    So, I’ll keep my fingers crossed for him being Mr. Perfect!


    Comment by Sally Lomax — December 13, 2006 @ 3:50 pm

  77. Why has Trevor lost his charm? Petite, have you ruined him?

    Comment by dan — December 13, 2006 @ 6:39 pm

  78. Me thinks its cyclic, something to do with whiskey drinking (trevor I mean)

    Comment by Carruthers — December 13, 2006 @ 6:00 pm

  79. I just learned today that there’s some serial killer targeting prostitutes in England, so I doubly regret having made the above comments, while under the influence as Carruthers so rightly pointed out.


    Comment by Trevor — December 13, 2006 @ 6:46 pm

  80. I sympathize with the coughing problem- I’ve been coughing for two weeks, but being pregnant all cough syrups are forbidden for me, and the doctor just tells me to wait until it’s over…

    Could you explain the “little English songbird” thing, I really didn’t understand it ?

    Comment by ES — December 14, 2006 @ 1:28 am

  81. HI petite,

    I am a breton living in the UK and since I have discovered the following website: “Technical” words are not an issue anymore.

    I have been reading your blog for a while and have enjoyed it. Especially the bits on tadpole learning 2 languages at the same time as my daughter has similar difficulties!

    Comment by Yannig — December 14, 2006 @ 4:19 am

  82. Before too many hopes are raised, I think Petite’s ‘attractive pharmacist’ is extremely unlikely to be the pharmacist and is more likely the attractive male assistant she first describes him as. In my experience, French pharmacists are usually rather middle aged, even when young, and always quite grumpy. But no doubt the attractive assistant could help her with any pharmaceutical needs she may have. Not that she has any of course, apart from her winter colds…

    Comment by andrew — December 14, 2006 @ 8:42 pm

  83. Hi

    Try “Broncocod” – I think it comes in sweetand plain versions. Must have codeine in it too.

    I enjoyed your singing bird. Pharmacists give lots of information here in Mexico as most prescription drugs are far beyond people’s means. And while the French health service is the best in the world (and fast going broke) some of it is because of over prescription.

    Grannie D

    Comment by Grannie D — December 14, 2006 @ 11:31 pm

  84. First time ever I write a comment here ! :)
    (and pardon my English by the way !)
    I always enjoy reading your stories, and I really liked this one.
    I can understand your dislike of French “pharmacies” ! For the very same reason you don’t like them, I was glad to find every kind of medicines on the shelves of Boots or Tesco when I was living in the UK !

    Comment by vero0oo — December 15, 2006 @ 11:17 pm

  85. I had fun asking for something for “muguet” too some years ago! I too chose the dishiest assistant in a pharmacie the other day to process my lengthy prescription, but after searching on all the pieces of paper he gave back to me – I’m not eligible for a carte vitale unfortunately so make a claim to the CPAM- no phone number. He did show me his extremely sexy smile though so can’t complain!

    Comment by Anglaise in Toulouse — December 16, 2006 @ 10:21 am

  86. Go see Dr Tredup at St Ambroise if you need an English-speaking Doc. He’s great.

    Comment by Eskimolimon — December 17, 2006 @ 4:28 pm

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