Thursday, March 10, 2022

(10/31) Life Overseas: Expect the Unexpected

10 of 31 - SOLSC 2022

As the day starts I anticipate a slice appearing while I try to renew my prescriptions. It is probably my least favorite regular part of life about living here. I would love to be wrong on this one. I'll be back with an update.


The good news is that I was only there for three hours, and that included the doctor showing up 1.5 hours late.

Arriving at the final stage, I know to not get too excited. This is often when the pharmacist and I discover the doctor and/or the insurance person didn't do the math correctly and they haven't either prescribed and/or approved the correct amount of at least one of the medications for the days allotted and I have to repeat the previous three steps of the process.

Today, however, the pill count appeared to be correct as I handed the insurance authorization printout to the pharmacy. And then the pharmacist called me over.

Yesterday I had a conversation with two Saudi friends and learned a new word, bahour. Think incense and you are in the ballpark. Unfortunately this next part of the story allowed me to utilize my new vocabulary word.

As I stepped up to the pharmacist's counter, who happened to be at the inside corner of the 'L' configuration that sits in an alcove, I noticed a strong smell - even 
through my N95 mask. Smoke was wafting from behind the post next to her and I quickly backed up as far as I could, though there was a wall behind me and I couldn't get very far. Rapidly pulling a paper out of my bag and fanning the air in front of my face I found myself internally shaking my head at the fact that a pharmacy, inside a hospital, had very odiferous bahour wafting prolifically all over a migraine patient who was there to get more medication to keep her from having migraines.

I'll admit, I was not very polite for the duration of our interaction and I am pretty sure both of us were glad when I scampered out of the hospital, to the 'fresh' air with the remnants of the last dust storm.


  1. Oh, baKHour!! It can be very strong and used at unnecessary time and place!☹️

  2. This sounds like such an ordeal! You really set the scene for how arduous a process this is. And incense inside a pharmacy - yikes! Glad things didn't last *too* long in there. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Oh my! Bakhour can be very strong. I had heard that it kills the germs around and repels the mosquitoes and flies. It is used as an air freshener. I tried it once and got the worst migraine that lasted me 2 days.
    I hope you feel better now.

  4. You paint a very interesting perspective of life in Saudi-land! I cannot imagine why someone would have bahour in a pharmacy! Thanks for sharing the word, though.

  5. So Bakhour is not good for a person with migraine. Learned something new today. I love it though. Oud is my fav out of the two.

  6. I never imagined it to be used in a hospital though. Glad you got out of the hospital for some fresh air.

  7. Love the irony! "...all over a migraine patient who was there to get more medication to keep her from having migraines."
    And my only reaction through this was, ugh! Imagine a pharmacy of all the places!

  8. Wow, Kristy! The things we take for granted here... I never would have thought that it would be such an ordeal to get prescriptions filled in another country. Amazing that they were burning incense!