If you’ve ever lived in Germany, especially if you were simultaneously learning German, you’ll be nodding along and cringing with empathy while you read Firoozeh Dumas’s article “Foot Fungus Is Better in America.” I recall some immensely frustrating conversations with pharmacists there, trying to understand what medicine they wanted to give me and trying (but of course failing) to build rapport along the way. I hoped if I could just make them smile perhaps I could get the medicine I really wanted instead of the three medicines they were sure I needed. It never worked.
Not to mention all the home remedies I tried while living there. Because really, who wants to admit to a (tiny, very quiet) room full of strangers that you have foot fungus?