So, I loved working with Mr. Sau but the pricing of his herbs were really high! About $25 cdn per 2 days of herbs or so. In Canada, I’d pay about $70 for a month’s supply! (To give you an idea of interesting costs here, a full dental cleaning in a modern office is $6, to get our cat spayed $2, a meal $2-$4).
The Vietnamese people as so kind, and Mr. Vu told me about a local herbs shop where I could get what I needed a lot cheaper. So off I went on my e-bike to find the shop!
When I got there, I realized we had a translation problem. So when the shop owner asked me “what your problem” I pulled out my cell phone and trusty Google Translate, and typed in “I have depression. My head is sad”. He looked at me so funny! Then typed back “you can do more”. Then he said “exercise”…
When we both realized that this form of translation wasn’t going to get us very far, I called Mr. Vu to come meet me at the shop. When he arrived, he asked me what I told the shop owner that my problem was. I showed him my phone.
He got so frustrated at me! He said “this is not what you have! You have blocked energy! If you really feel that you have this depression then you go to the hospital and the doctor will give you pills”. (It’s true, that’s all they do).
While it was not fun to call in a favor, then waste Mr. Vu’s time with
my lack of listening skills, I’m really glad he spoke up with emotion. It drilled it home to me that in Vietnam, depression isn’t a thing. It’s a western term. I immediately apologized, then payed attention to the facts and sensations in my body. I re-framed why I was there in terms of my symptoms:
“I have a headache, my eyes feel sunk in my head, I’m weak and I have no energy for myself or anyone else in my family”.
I was then whisked to the back area where my pulses were taken by the shop owner, more questions asked (yep! Libido still at zero!) then I was given a weeks worth of herbal formulas for $12 cdn plus some fresh ginger. Ah, that’s better!
Ok, lesson learned. I don’t have depression. I have a mixture of symptoms that I need to heal. Thanks Mr. Sau, Mr Vu and the really nice man at the herbal shop!