When we arrived, and by arrived I mean a few hours after we landed for the first time ever on the African continent, Mr. Deep had some work meetings to attend and so a representative from our assigned relocation company took me around. She showed me the places that Mr. Deep told her I'd be interested in seeing, grocery stores, shopping centers and a gym. We also looked at a few houses just to get an idea of what was available. Because there are lovely stores of all kinds in Joburg, and because I desperately wanted to move here, I was thrilled with everything that I saw.
One of the places she and I visited was Clicks, a drug store which has hundreds (360 according to google) of locations across the country. The first few times I visited Clicks it seemed to be very similar to the large chain drugstores that I was used to shopping at in the U.S., selling drugs, cosmetics, lotions, candy etc.
But after a few shopping trips to Clicks I realized that while it has some similarities, it also has some differences.
The biggest difference is that at Clicks the real drugs are not available on the shelves. Maybe this is common in other parts of the world as well? Clicks, it seems, takes the phrase "over the counter" literally. This means that if you have a headache and want something like Advil that you have to go to the counter and ask the pharmacist or the pharmacist's assistant for "something that will help a headache preferably with Ibuprofen" you then rely on that person to bring you something good. What I really feel like doing is jumping behind the counter, seeing what's available and then selecting my drug of choice, but that is not an option. This is the case for any type of ailment, congestion, allergies, sleeping problems, sore throat, cough, etc. In the U.S. we are used to grabbing a bottle of 500 Advil tablets and being set for the next year or more. Here, you are lucky to get 12 tablets because remember you said you had a headache, you didn't say that you expected to have another headache tomorrow or the next day.
Prescription medicines are also kept behind the counter and if you visit the counter to get either over the counter meds or a prescription filled your drugs are put into a "cage. " You will then carry this cage up to the cash register to pay. Once paid, the staff will open the cage and give you your drugs. I am assuming this is done to dissuade people from stealing drugs but the cage is secured with a zip tie so any thief with a scissor could likely find a way around this system. Of course I am not recommending that or condoning theft.
|The "cage" and the zip tie.|
|I tried to google to see what Sejeso means. If anyone knows please comment.|
|Who doesn't want to be super chill all day?|
|"To comfort babies with gripes."|
|Or, if you don't want a baby with a gripe, try these.|
|This one is my favourite for so many reasons. The name of the product, the man's hair, the woman's expression, the fact that it's needed because of "today's demanding lifestyle" and of course his seemingly extra long finger.|
|Apparently featuring a photo of Dr. Long himself.|