Tuesday, July 9, 2013

It sounds plausible

I finally got to see a doctor. He explained that he had to cancel my last appointment because he needed surgery to remove his appendix. He thinks he can solve my problems before I exhaust my health cover.

He renewed my prescriptions and I discovered the delights of the US pharmaceutical system. One of my scripts which cost $6 in Vienna costs $277 here - and I did not find this our until I collected it at the counter. That’s $9.23 per daily pill. Jiminy Cricket!  

Fortunately my doctor had told me about an over the counter substitute - which will probably do the job - so I canceled the transaction and took this one instead.

The New York Times was delivered yesterday – the second one we have received in three weeks – but not today. This probably counts as some sort of progress and we are not giving up!

We still do not have any blinds so by now the neighbors are probably very familiar with our daily routines.

We do have temporary blinds stuck onto the bedroom windows and these let go every now and then – usually in the middle of the night - and scare the life out of everyone.

We have finally found a coffee we like – it is called Crema espresso. I saw the boss of an Italian coffee company on TV recently. He said that the origin of the term ‘espresso’ is that there were express trains in Italy that only stopped at stations for a few minutes so that the passengers had to get off to have a short sharp hit of coffee in double-quick time. Hence they invented the ‘espresso’ to serve as many people as possible in the shortest possible time.

Sounds plausible – but there are many different versions of the origin of the name. 


  1. WOW - glad there is a cheaper OTC alternative - that is a hefty price increase across countries !!
    Take care and look after yourself so you don't have to fill too many more prescriptions at that price !
    Have a great day !

  2. The story about train travelers gulping down their coffee rapidly is amusing, but it has nothing to do with the origin of the term "espresso". The coffee machine, invented by an Italian in 1884, uses pressure (whence "espresso") to force hot water through ground coffee beans. In my kitchen, I have a great little Delonghi machine, which is perfect for making just two cups of coffee at a time. I purchase freshly-roasted Ethiopian coffee beans (mainly Yirgacheffe) on the Internet from any of several French firms, and I grind them on a sturdy American KitchenAid machine. Savoring perfect home-brewed coffee is a simple and wonderful daily experience.

  3. With a name like New York Times it doesn't seem that they are veRy concerned about timely arrival. Also, we use the word 'times' as a math word, meaning multiplication, but in your case it has turned out to be a fractional situation. The easiest thing to do may be to start believing that the city of New York doesn't eXist.

  4. I would NEVER encourage anyone to ever shop at Walmart, but there are a lot of prescriptions you can get there for $4. Here's what we the lowly, lazy, system-sapping uninsured lovingly call The Four Dollar List.

  5. I have the impression that US health care, globally, is not as bad as many people say, although there's certainly room for improvement. Yesterday, JAMA [The Journal of the American Medical Association] released a major report on health care throughout the world in general, and in the USA in particular. Click here for a short summary by Kerry Sheridan (for Agence France Presse), which is front-page news on French media this morning. Click here to access the full report, which is interesting but heavy reading.

  6. Me: I will be shopping very carefully for medication! Thanks.

    William: Your story is based on fact - mine is more romantic.

    esbboston: This may be why I have received it 2 times.

    SK Waller: I will check the list very carefully

    William: I think the quality of health care - at least for those with cover - is excellent. It is the cost which is stupendous.