EXPATS AGAIN! Experiencing other cultures while enriching our global view.



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Munich, Germany
I am married to the love of my life and am finally able to shower him with all of the attention he deserves. I am now retired and living the life here in Europe. I am an American, he is an Australian, and this is our second overseas address. The first was Shanghai, China and now Munich, Germany. Come along and live the life with us as we continue our adventure of discovering all Europe has to offer.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Border control in the United States (United St...Image via Wikipedia

The last two days have been like....redundant!  .... Think of the movie, "Groundhog Day," and you'll soon see what I mean. 

Both Monday and today were highly reminiscent of one of my fellow bloggers' little adventure back on November 3rd.  You can read about Fraus' experience at http://fraukmwest.blogspot.com/  in her "West Family Adventures" Blog. 

 Little did I know when I read about her run in with the customs officer on November 3rd that I would be retracing her steps a week later....well almost. 

 Different German villages--different contraband (ok, I guess only mine is considered contraband) --but the same questions from the German Customs Officer; however,with a decidedly different outcome for both of us.

In her case it turned out well, :-) 

In mine? 

Well, lets just say that I'm lucky I'm not in jail right now, :-)

I have broken the law.

This is pretty ironic given that my former career was a staff member at the State Rehabilitation and Corrections in Ohio

Heck, I haven't been out of the slammer even a full year yet and here I am in a foreign country unknowingly committing a crime

Well, Frau was worried about her German language skills when she confronted her nemesis,  but be forewarned--as of yet, I have NO German language skills whatsoever.  (My classes don't begin until after the holidays in January.)

 "Bitte," and "Danke," go fairly far in public, but tell it to Customs--umm, NOT advisable.

To make a r-e-a-l-l-y long story short, Monday I had to take a train and the underground subway from my village of Pasing-Obermenzing to Gaching, about a 45 minute journey to pick up a parcel my daughter-in-law mailed to me from the U.S.  When I got there, the Post Office had closed by 4:30 pm. 

 "Ok," I squirmed, "Let's do this again tommorrow."

 Today, I took the same train and underground subway back to Gaching, only much earlier, just to learn that I was in Gaching alright, but not Gaching-Hochbrueck. ( ??) Whoda thunk?

To add to my consternation, three different people in the queue behind me, all speaking German, were trying to give me directions to Gaching-Hochbrueck.  All I could gather was something about another form of transportation--Oh, a bus.

Just when I was about to give up, my knight-in-shining-armor (no not my husband) showed up.  (But more about him later). 

 Fifteen minutes later and I'm at the right Post Office ready to get my parcel.

It was then that I learned that I had smuggled in drugs from another country.  Now how did I not know that this was illegal?  How did my German doctor not know this?  How did my American doctor not know either?  After all, we all worked together on this scheme.

It all started when I learned that we have American Health Insurance--not German Health Insurance.  So, the logical thing to do, in my mind at least, was to have my American doctor fill my monthy prescriptions, my daughter-in-law pick them up from the pharmacy and pop them into the mail to send to me overseas, here in Munich.  Brilliant!

That way, each of the four medications I take monthly would only amount to around $80.00 per month as compared to the price of the same prescriptions being filled here in Germany (without insurance) costing around $1,000.00 per month.  A no-brainer, right?


It appears that there is a German law that does not allow any medications to be posted from overseas.  All prescriptions must be filled by a German pharmacy.  End of story!

Now, I can get them filled here, pay (up the nose), and then get the Americans to reimburse me....say in the next millenium, maybe.  But that is how it has to go, unless I want to be on "Germany's Most Wanted."

Medication diet squircleImage by Ennor via Flickr

Tomorrow, I get to do the train again to the city center and try to appeal to the government to allow me to have this parcel.  I have been informed, however, that it is quite possible that they will deny my appeal.  On the chance that they show mercy and let me have them, I will have to wait until they contact Berlin. If the capital city of Germany gives them the "ok," they will post them to me-- this one time only--with the caveat that I will never try to smuggle drugs into the country again.  (Folks, we are talking about blood pressure and cholesterol pills here...not pain killers or hallucinogens, although the former would have come in handy after this debacle.)

OH!  The knight-in-shining-armor?  I know I shouldn't have, and in America I never would have, but there was this charming (and handsome) man in line who spoke perfect English, although was German, who said he worked in Gaching right across from the Post Office and would I like a lift?  Well....a gals gotta do what a gals gotta do!  And thank goodness he had Navi in that shining black Mercedes because after all I had been through, I couldn't imagine another wrong Post Office!

WARNING!  Girls don't do this at home! 

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honeypiehorse said...

Oh, no! But if you're going to live her you have to get German insurance.

Frau said...

OMG I'm sorry! You need to look into global insurance ours is through Aetna. I was going to have my Mom send my daughter prescription eye drops and allergy meds damn glad I didn't. Have you thought about calling the American Consult office in Munich? Maybe someone could assist you. We have used the one here in Bremen and they are so helpful. Wow glad you are not in jail, I imagine there isn't WiFi there!!Good luck!

Expats Again said...

Honeypiehorse, I wholeheartedly agree! Why my husbands' company set it up this way is a mystery to me. I've sent your message along to him via email....I hope he perform some magic soon!

Frau, "Don't do it!" Better to stock up when you visit home I suspect. Great idea about the American Consulate--never thought of it. I sent your thoughts to my hubby too.

I am really grateful to both of you.

Debbie said...

OMG!! Chris. Hopefully you can work this out and get your med's. I probably would have unknowingly done the same thing though but with my luck they would have thrown me in Gefängnis (prison). It might be cheaper to fly back home (Sylvania) every couple months and get your refills. (just kidding)(Is that illegal also to take your meds with you on the plane?) Stay out of trouble, cuz.. Although it makes for good blog fodder :-)

Expats Again said...

Tee, hee, Debbie! "Good blog fodder...." At the moment, I'm going to go ahead and get my German doctor to write scripts and fill them today--I need the meds today and will have them filled at the pharmacy. Then, we will have time to see if the company can restructure our insurance here in Germany or even appeal to the American Consolate. I'll keep you informed! Thanks for commenting on the blog! (Oh, and it is not illegal to bring your own meds on the plane.)

Debbie F said...

Well there you go-another great excuse to come home every couple months. Good luck