"The worst part about getting sick while travelling overseas."

I hate going to pharmacies because I feel like the pharmacist is always judging me.

I could be purchasing a toothbrush, or I could be purchasing birth control. It doesn’t matter. I feel equally guilty and I’m just not sure why.

To pharmacists everywhere: I have nothing but respect. It’s not you. It’s me. You guys just keep doin’… pharmacist stuff.

Overseas, however, it’s a different story. I am FEARLESS and strong and have an innate ability to conquer any chemist with no shame. Some may call me a hero. But that’s not necessary.

Listen: The Mamamia Out Loud team share their travel health horror stories(Post continues below).

There’s something about a language barrier that makes the interaction far less embarrassing: the pharmacist doesn’t know me, they don’t know my life story, they can laugh about me with all their pharmacist friends and I’m no more than some weird foreigner who they will NEVER SEE AGAIN.

That’s a positive look at the language barrier. But there’s a flip side.

Part of travelling to a foreign country is immersing yourself in foreign language. And when immersing yourself in foreign language, you rarely consider the value of fundamental medical terms.

That is, until you’re standing in a safari lodge in the middle of the Kalahari desert, trying to convey “I have my PERIOD” with some hand signals because you ran out of tampons.

Or worse: "I might be pregnant, can I please have a test?" (Image: Universal Studios)

On this week's episode of Mamamia Out Loud, Jessie Stephens shared her experience of trying to buy pads in Indonesia.

"I grabbed the first ones I could find. They were bigger than my face. I don't know what they're for, but they are terrifying. I think I might've bought adult nappies..."

Mia Freedman had an overseas chemist story of her own.

"When I was in Africa last year I got my period and didn't have any tampons with me. I had to MIME 'period' to the six African woman at the hotel we were staying at.

"I made a sort of 'WHOOOSH' coming out of my vagina. They got it. There was the universal understanding of 'ahhhh, we know that sh*t'."

Have you ever had an unfortunate experience in an overseas chemist? How did you handle it? Let us know your story in the comments below.

You can listen to this week's full episode of Mamamia Out Loud here...

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