Since we haven’t been back to the US in more than a year, anything we might have used, then replaced whenever we travelled back, is long gone. Over the past three years, I have switched over to a bunch of Spanish products. Abandoning my American brands for those available in Spain or greater Europe. But the old stand by stuff, I just couldn’t let go.
However, being stuck here, and not able to travel back easily during la pandemia has forced me to bite the bullet. My last tube of my favourite deodorant is now on it’s last legs. But it’s more than that. When we were in the US over a year ago, I went to Costco and stocked up on pain relievers, antibiotic ointment, and allergy meds. But it´s all gone now. I didn’t go crazy shopping because we were coming back to the US at least twice a year. Jeff, even more. I could always send a list.
It looks like Neosporin, but it´s not
Recently, I cut my hand pretty bad and had to go to the farmacia and ask for antibiotic ointment. They presented me with a generic looking tube and I took it home and dabbed a little on the wound. The next day, when I woke up it was almost entirely healed. I’m not kidding. It’s a miracle ointment. I’m pretty sure I could get in a serious car, or bicycle accident, and just rub this stuff all over my gaping wounds and I’d avoid surgery. If you’re ever in Spain you might want to check it out. The tube looks like this.
It makes my beloved Neosporin in the US seems like it’s asleep, and I´ve been a Neosporin devotee all my life. Now, I wouldn’t go anywhere without my Pomada Antibiotica Liade. Neosporin is a cheap substitute and I will not use up my precious suitcase space for it in future.
Allergy Meds – just like back home
Another thing that surprised me, as I was trying to find replacements for my American hold outs, was that they have some things here that are exactly like what I had back home, and they even have the same names. If you take Zyrtec for seasonal allergies back in the US, you can walk into any farmacia and ask for – wait for it – Zyrtec, and they´ll give you a box for a fraction of the US price. Yup. Same stuff. It looks like this.
I’m sure there are other examples of this. You just have to ask at a farmacia with the green cross.
And bugs. Oh, there are bugs here. And a lot of them are small. You’ll get the bite, but you’ll never see the bug. It drives Jeff crazy. But we found this and it puts our Camphophenique from back home to shame. If Jeff got a bite I would ask him if it was a bite ‘worthy of using the Camphophenique.’ It was just that precious. But now we have this:
Roll this on to any bite, and the itch and sting is gone in seconds. And the next day we can’t even see the bite. Big bite. Small bite. Doesn’t matter. It seems others know about it, too, because the peg it hangs on in any farmacia is often out of stock. So now, when I see it I buy it. I keep one in my purse and another in the glove box. It´s in the drawer next to our bed, too. We love this stuff
Moisturizer that won´t break the bank
Moisturizers are a personal thing. Especially for women. But in the US, a good moisturizer is expensive. $50 up to more than $100 for a small jar. I had been hunting for a good moisturizer in Spain for a few months. Jeff brought this to me from El Corte Ingles after I sent him there to purchase me some while I was in the hospital. No, he didn´t go to the cosmetic counter, as you would expect. He went to the Supermercado in the basement and bought me the generic El Corte Ingles brand moisturizer. I just looked at it when he handed it to me. What was he thinking? I didn’t even ask.
Then I used it – because I had no choice. Holy moly. It’s the best moisturizer I have ever used. My skin is like silk and looks and feels better than ever. And a 250ml jar is €1,50. So, like $1.75. I freaked out. The other day I went back and bought 8 jars of it. In case they discontinued it. I don’t know what’s in it, but maybe it’s got a bit of that magic stuff in the pomada antibiotica. Maybe I should fill a suit case with it on my next trip to the US and set up a card table on the street in Seattle, like an old fashioned lemonade stand. I could make a mint!
Its almost medicinal. Last month, I was sitting down in the chaise in the living room. I had brewed myself a cup of boiling hot chamomile tea. Suddenly, the mug tipped and it was all over the front of me. It was so hot my skin blistered. Painful doesn’t describe it. But I put this generic lotion on it and it healed right up. No scar. In future, I would use it on a sun burn in a heartbeat.
So, if you’re sitting at home this year and getting through the pandemic dreaming of your next adventure in Spain, making your lists of places you might want to visit. Things you want to see. Add the farmacia and the Supermercado at El Corte Ingles to your list. You’ll go home with more than memories to last a lifetime. It might just be a trip that heals you. In more ways than one.