05 April, 2017

Shopping for eye drops wasn't that simple

I still struggle to buy things in a Japanese shop that I don't buy regularly and aren't obvious. For example, eye drops. They aren't something I buy often, but I needed to this week. My eyes tend towards dryness, I'm not sure that it is an allergy thing, but I've been struggling with gritty eyes recently (not helped by a teary prayer meeting for our field director and his family each morning).

Isn't the bottle curious!
I used to have two bottles of eye drops in various places, but could find neither, so decided to try buying some more. Those bottles were bought in Australia and with help in Japan, so doing it on my own here was new. I "swanned"* around in a drug store for a while looking for the eye drop section, primarily using pictures as my guide. My method in an unfamiliar store or looking for an unfamiliar product is to generally scan to find the right "section" and then zoom in with what reading skills I can muster (aided by my trusty phone).
Eventually after no success I thought to look up and found a sectional sign with the character for eye on it: 目 (should have thought of that before). Then I looked in more detail. As I suspected there were a lot of choices, but not a lot to help me choose between them. I ended up looking more closely at something that wasn't too expensive. I googled the brand-name and learnt a bit about the company's American products (which didn't correspond that well to what I could see in front of me). The English words on the product, testimonies, didn't seem too bad:
"Wow, what a feeling!" "Strong yet soft, the indescribable sensation is truly long lasting." "The sensation spreads through my brain – I feel wide awake. My eyes are purified and refreshed." It's "ROHTO Z!". Feel it!
So I bought it. When I tried it later at home I was completely unprepared for the product being more than just saline, it had stuff in it that made it impossible to open my eyes for what felt like about a minute. After a while, though, I can say that my eyes did feel somewhat refreshed. Not sure if my brain was awakened, though.

I got my husband, with his superior-to-me reading skills, to check over the instruction page and he wasn't able to add much to what I already knew (that there was more than just saline in this and that it was supposed to awaken your eyes).

A bit more searching since tells me that it has a tiny amount of weak antihistamine, vitamin B6, something that looks like an amino acid, tetrahydrozoline which relieves redness, and zinc sulfate.

Life in this country means you have to let a lot of things slide—not understanding everything going on around you is normal, but you learn to make do and not be so bothered by all the details.

*This word is in my Australian dictionary, but not in dictionary.com, so I suspect it isn't an American usage. I use it to mean to move about in a casual way.

1 comment:

Ken Rolph said...

Swan as in swanning around is in the Encarta and Merriam Webster dictionaries, so should have a widespread usage.