Greener Pastures Indeed


When I started my blog Greener Pastures in Luxembourg I came up with the name because my backyard is actually a green pasture. And, aren’t we all looking for greener pastures.  I have the luck to now live in a beautiful country where the city and the country blend together into a quilt of cosmopolitan and provencial. The city bus rumbles by on Rue Kohlenberg in front of our house every 20 minutes and my kitchen overlooks a pasture. A block from my house is a path that wanders through fields of wheat and corn. During the weekdays I see dozens of people jog by our house onto the path, passing cows on their midday jog. Where else in the world can you find something as eclectic as this?


During my French class today the professor asked us to share why we like Luxembourg. The students, all middle aged and from countries around the world, all agreed that Luxembourg is cosmopolitan, calm, safe, friendly and is home to people from around the world. They shared how Luxembourg is open to people from other countries and how everyone stops to talk and get to know each other, something that doesn’t often happen in their own countries. I have to say that most of the people in my class are quite happy to be in Luxembourg. They come from countries like Italy, Spain, Romania, Japan, Turkey, Argentina and Germany, to name a few. I am still getting to know some of the students but we all feel equal and comfortable in our class. We speak in staccato, awkward French and explain our ideas as best we can about current events and where we come from and why we are here. Each of us is living in a foreign country, learning a new language and hoping to find greener pastures. I think perhaps that many of us have found our greener pastures.


Getting Sick in Luxembourg Is Definitely Different

Luca has been sick for almost a week now. He came home from school Tuesday afternoon tired and it was quite evident within a couple of hours that he was sick. He and I were up almost all night that night and there was not much sleep for the next few nights. He couldn’t sleep from the cough and fever. He stayed home from school on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and seemed to be getting a little better. He still wasn’t sleeping well at night but his cough was a little better.


In order for a child to return to school after being sick for more than two days they must visit a doctor and get a Certificat (Bescheinigung) that is certified by the doctor. We already had an appointment scheduled for Thursday with his homeopathic doctor, but since they are not recognized as doctor’s here in Luxembourg she could not give me a note. We went to the doctor (general practitioner) Friday afternoon to get this certificate so that he could return to school on Monday when he was feeling better. Thankfully the doctor’s visit wasn’t too expensive, €39 Euros, and the Certificat was €7 Euros.

So now it was just a matter of feeling better. Juliana had her Birthday party sleep over Friday night which meant Luca got very little sleep and the next day starting feeling worse again. The coughing would not stop. We tried natural remedies and essential oils throughout the weekend but he was getting worse.

Each day he missed school I contacted his counselor at school to let him know that Luca would be at home sick. Today when I contacted him and said I  had a Certificat for Wednesday through Friday he told me that I had to have a new Certificat that would cover today and any other days he was sick this week. So, this means visiting the doctor again.


Well, since Luca was feeling worse this morning, Monday, we made an appointment with the general practitioner again. He is in fact getting worse and has some infection in his lungs so we are now going to start an antibiotic. She wrote me a new Certificat that will be good through Wednesday (since she can only write it for up to 48 hours after she has seen the patient). She also wrote me a Certificat that allows him to not participate in his gym class this week since it will irritate his cough. So, we are hoping he is better by Thursday and can go back to school.

Now it was time to go to the Pharmacie for his prescription. After standing in line for 10 minutes waiting for one older to lady count out her coins and an older gentlemen making small-talk with the cashier I had my turn. I gave her the prescription, she went in the back room and return in 30 seconds with two bottles of medicine. Her English wasn’t that good and my French is not sufficient so when she asked me if I wanted her to mix I said no. We had decided to get a liquid medicine since Luca’s throat is so sore from coughing. I assumed it was liquid in the bottle. Wrongo spagetti-O. So she told me that it costs One point seventy three as I handed her my credit card. She shook her head as I handed her my credit card and said they don’t accept credit cards for transactions under €6. I asked her again, “How much?” Then I realized that the 5-day course of Amoxicillin was only going to cost me €1.73, less than €2 Euros. My jaw hung open and I told her how surprised I was at the price. She just smiled and said, “It’s Luxembourg.”

Upon arriving at home I was a little chagrined to find that the medicine is actually in powder form. And the instructions are in German. At least if they were in French I could understand most of it. So, I got on my computer for the next 20 minutes using Google Translator to find out what the long pamphlet said in English.

amoxicillinSo, after much translating and cursing I figured out that one spoon of powder in a glass of water was how this medicine works. Luca was not excited by the taste but I learned a very good lesson –  always get the pills.

So now we hope the antibiotic kicks in, Luca feels better and he can go back to school and catch up on missing over a week of schoolwork.

And on the plus side, once we finally receive our social security cards, after waiting for more than three months, we can send in the doctor receipts for a partial refund. I don’t know how much they will reimburse us,  but it is an added bonus. And it is costs us much less here than visiting the doctor in the US.