I studied abroad in Amsterdam in a program about sexuality. Toward the end of this, I was invited on a bike ride (it was fifty miles, and no I didn’t know that ahead of time). Problem was I was getting a yeast infection. Ever had a yeast infection in a place where biking is your only source of transportation? So I went to the pharmacy and asked. In Amsterdam, amidst everyone speaks English, so I looked for a bit, then asked the lady behind the counter for it. She just looked at me and asked, you have what? I explained with a bit more detail and then she asked where my yeast infection was. I did know the word for that. She proceeded to call out to co workers across the store to see if the had any ideas. The word for vagina followed the conversation. The lady behind me in line was trying to help. Eventually they located a tube of something and I paid and got out, only a little late to my bike ride. I applied some of the tube’s contents and off we went. The bike ride went well, but by the end of the day I was tired and uncomfortable. As I lay in bed that night with my English-Dutch dictionary open, I discovered what I thought was yeast infection cream was actually for athlete’s foot. Now it was clear why the lady had been so insistent that if the suspicious tube didn’t work, I needed to see a doctor.
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