16 June, 2011

Communicating on two totally different wavelengths

B has been coughing for a couple of days. It sounds awful-- he'll empty his lungs of air and then continue to sputter and gag until tears stream from his eyes and his face turns an alarming shade of scarlet. I have a sneaking suspicion that this doesn't happen when he's alone, though, if you catch my drift, so I'm not overly worried.

Today we were exploring Barcelona when he suddenly had another attack. At the next opportunity we ducked into a pharmacy.

The pharmacist smiled and greeted us in Spanish.

"Hi" I tried in English and pointed at B. "He's coughing." And I fake coughed helpfully to illustrate my point.

"How old is he?"

This caught me off guard. "What?! Nine?" I turned to B "You're nine, right?"

He nodded, smiling, looking relaxed, tan, and perfectly healthy. I turned back to the pharmacist. "Do you have any cough drops?"

He disappeared and then returned a few minutes later with a bottle. "This are the drops for the coughing."

I don't recognize the active ingredient, so I decide to try again. "Ha, no sorry, I don't mean those kinds of drops, I mean something to suck on."

"He is too young."

"What?! No, I mean a lozenge! UNE SUCETTE! To suck on!"

"He is too young. Maybe some water?"

I gave up. Smiled, thanked him, took B's hand and left. On the way out the door a rack caught my eye. It was stacked with 5 different kinds of Hall's cough drops...

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