Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Chemist
Okay, we need to talk about the chemists in India. They’re these hole-in-the-wall little storefront shops, much like any other in India. But inside is a plethora of magic. In India, it’s assumed that if you can afford medicine, you know what you’re doing with it. So you can go to the chemist and buy two pills, or 10 pills, or a hundred pills, of whatever you fancy you need. It seems that most medicine is sold by the strip, and not by the bottle.

What’s incredible is that you can get anything --- and I mean anything --- but opioids, straight-up, over the counter. No questions asked and no prescriptions necessary, which makes this place unlike even Tijuana, where you have to go through the formality of paying a doctor $30 to write you a prescription.

I haven't been getting too crazy, but as Goa is a mecca for moonlight partying, the guys in the chemist shops start trying to sell you stuff the moment you walk up, which is how I became fully aware of the potential of these places. "Hey, hey, you want pain-killers? Sleeping pills? You want ephedrine? You want steroids?" the guy asked. "You want ketamine?"

Over-the-counter ketamine? Holy shit. You'd better believe all my friends are getting strips of Viagra.

I'm trying to convince Tara that we should become the hopelessly decadent 70s couple, with a stand-alone mirror-top bar in the corner of our house and bowls placed strategically around the house, bowls that hold a rainbow plethora of pills: uppers, downers, in-betweeners, 'luudes, Xanax, Prozac, Nembutal, Percocet, Percodan, what-have-you.

Don't worry! We'll keep the bowls out of reach of the kid.

We would also need a disco ball. Ah, the good times we could have.

I have been using this medicated heat balm that is the hot fire! It's some sort of unguent made from equal parts napalm and the sun's chromosphere.