As noted in the previous post, there are a lot of things to get used to when finding oneself abroad. General ‘culture shock’ is enough of a mental hangover, but once that settles there are other things that one must be weary of, such as medical needs.
If you are like me and have food allergies eating out can be tough, but when you are in the comfort of your own native soil, it becomes easy to know which foods you can and can’t eat. Overseas, foods that look similar to those from home are presented a little differently, so you can’t always be sure what exactly is in it. I learned the hard way that you should always err on the side of caution and ask, EVEN if you feel you are being a burden. No one likes to see someone get sick from their food, and even more terrifying, the medicines here are often different so you may not know what you need to feel better.
After eating a not so inviting meal, I spent about 45 minutes looking for a pharmacy that stayed open late (mind you in was only about 9 PM, but night starts earlier here). And when I got to one, I wasn’t familiar with any of the medicines so I had to tell the pharmacist on duty what my symptoms were and trust his suggestion. After medication and a good night’s sleep I woke up feeling much better and fortunate that things didn’t get as bad as they could have. From now on, if I don’t know exactly what something is I will ask before eating.