When I was in fifth grade I was elected president of the Kountze Intermediate School Chapter of the JUST SAY NO Club. Pretty impressive, huh? Well, not if you consider my dad owned the local newspaper, or if you knew my parents created the chapter in the first place. All of my friends knew this. They also knew my parents bought bright green “Just Say No” t-shirts for the entire class. Much like politics in the “real world,” I bought my way into power!

However, this new position allowed me to travel to the state capitol and participate in the Just Say No Parade through downtown Austin. I got to march side-by-side with the national spokesperson for the Just Say No Campaign (of 11 year-olds), Cherie Johnson. Ohhhh, you guys remember her! She was Punky’s BFF! Anyway, it was totally cooool for both of us, since neither of us had ever met another “cherry” before! Very memorable! For me.

 Now, I am not saying this catchy-phrased, yet somewhat unsuccessful-on-the-national-level campaign is to credit, but I never did say “yes,” and to this day, many of my comrades haven’t either. Perhaps the school should have focused a bit more on the third graders…now, that was an at-risk group!

But living in a foreign country will make a person do crazy things.




 Oh, who am I kiddin’? I had to Google to find some slang…

 I’m talking about the REAL DEAL!

For anyone who has lived in or traveled to Italy (and other “foreign” countries, I am sure) you know the medicinal situation is, well, different from what we are used to in America.

One trip to the local Farmacia will leave you feeling…sick!
Headache? Try Asprina.

 Sore Thoat? Spray this Gola Action into your mouth.

Aside from the fact that many Italians I have met, Peppe included, prefer to suffer (albeight NOT in silence) than take something to help, the medicine just doesn’t do much for my ailments.

I was lamenting this fact last week during the American take-over in Badolato. I lightly mentioned (remember, after Sognatice took us up and down and up and down the hills in her village) that I had a headache. Melissa (and once again – I promise to talk more about Rich and Melissa when the time is right) uttered a few magical words…”I have Advil back at the house.”



 “Well, it is technically Ibruprofen,” she told me.

 “Even better! I’m used to the cheap stuff!”

And, magic it was. That headache was gone before my second glass of wine, and thus, before my confession!
We enjoyed Rich and Melissa so much, the we met them for dinner one last time before they headed back to Michigan.

 After dinner, the Candy Man (and his lovely wife) presented me with a little present.

This bon-bon is candy-coated, and most certainly, lightly cherry-flavored. Yummy!

Sleep, my pretty… Zicam will put you to sleeeeep.

Pink pills! They are so pretty.

And the Chocolate-covered-Cherry of them all…

11 Responses
  1. Anonymous

    h ah ah a that’s funny. But here in Sicily, i find the opposite. They’re such pill poppers! Maybe because mia suocera is a pharmacist and has every conceivable drug tucked away in some cupboard. I have to fight her off every time i have the most minor of sniffles.
    But anyway, we still have a fun time in the US stocking up on tylenol etc for a fraction of the price and twice the power of the stuff here. Vanessa

  2. Rich

    Okay, let me explain how this works: you don’t post a picture of your dealer right above all the “merchandise”. Now the Italian anti-pill police are going to be watching for us. What’s funny is that it must be in the Calabrian genes to avoid medication. My wife, her siblings, and her father all would rather complain than take medication – and none of them have ever set foot foot in Italy (until very recently that is). Truth be told, all those pills were part of the stash I brought to control my allergies and the cold I had whwn I left home. My German/Irish ancestors have left me with no qualms about popping ibuprofen!

    By the way, nice job doing the slow reveal with us. People are going to be disappointed when you talk about us more later!

  3. Giulia

    I have a tiny little travel bottle tucked in my purse for emergencies. I think I only have like 10 left. 🙁
    But I plan to have my Brother bring over a big ole bottle from BJ’s with like 200 caplets in it when he comes in December!
    The medicine here is so weak. I have a sister in law who always complains of pain when she gets her…ummm…lady friend. When I tell her to “prendi qualcosa per il dolore!” she just says “Oh, no, dopo me fa male.” I just don’t get it.

  4. Cassie

    Oh man, I always forget how hard it is to get something like Advil outside of the states. Congrats on the mega-load of goodies!

  5. Nadine

    How cool for you. If I ever visit Italy, I’ll have to remember to bring some goodies from home for you too. (Storing information in the back of my brain.)

  6. Cherrye

    Sogn – If you get a headache, you know where to go!

    Vanessa – Now I am jealous! In-laws who ENCOURAGE you to take medicine. They look at me like I have two heads!

    KC – Why, thank you!

    Rick – I admitted I was new at this. Next time I will know NOT to mention my supplier and/or post photos of him. But, they have come in VERY handy the last few days. I TOLD YOU I was coming down with something! Now I don’t have to suffer (as much).

    Giula – That is so funny. I don’t understand why they would complain about the pain, but not take something for it. Peppe says because of “side effects” – Whatever! I can deal with that!!

    Cassie – the little things we take for granted… 🙂

    Nadine – Thank you. But I will only take them if you do like Melissa (Rick’s wife). “Please take these off our hands so we don’t have to pack them!” What a doll!

    J – Ha ha ha…A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!

  7. Erin

    I can’t believe they don’t have proper medication. I don’t take pills often, but when I need one, just give it to me. I will also remember to bring you “stuff” when I convince my hubby to come your way. Maybe next year.

  8. lango

    Coming back to Italy in early March this year, I took over a dozen bottles of Advil… and had sold 10 of them within a day or two (of course keeping the other two for myself). My “clients” being my Italian baseball teammates who by now have become dependent like me.

    Advil is right up there with our bats and gloves as far as importance for baseball players.

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