dante is diabetic, so i give him an insulin shot twice a day. he also gets a vitamin B12 shot once a month. in the united states, a box of insulin pens costs about $400. that’s a seven or eight month supply. a six-month supply of vitamin B12, which is six shots, costs about $90. this is all insanely expensive but i have no choice because he needs it.

the other day i went to the pharmacy (the germans call them apothekes) by my house and handed the nice woman behind the counter two prescriptions dante’s vet here in berlin had given me. the prescriptions were refills for his insulin and vitamin B12.

i said: “sprechen sie englisch?”

and she said: “i will do my best.”

like most germans who say this, she then went on to speak perfect english.

she typed some things into her computer and then went to the back to retrieve dante’s medications. she returned and scanned them and told me the total was €76. that’s a little over $80.

i pointed to the box of insulin pens, which were the exact same brand as the ones dante got back in the states. i said: “and that box has five pens in it?”

she said: “yes, five pens.”

i said: “back home that would run me close to $400 after tax.”

like most germans, she looked confused and a little horrified to discover yet another reason why the united states is an essentially barbaric place where everything is driven by greed.

she carefully placed everything in a little bag and handed it to me. i said: “danke schön. tschüss!” and she gave me a “tschüss!” as well, which always feels good. i walked home. it was a beautiful day out and everyone was in a good mood. i was in a good mood too. i’d just saved $400.

though yeah, again: the total was $80 and some change. wow! what a crock of shit it is that i’d been paying literally 600% more for the exact same fucking medications for the last five years. oops!!

(p.s. dante may be going into diabetic remission on account of his recent dental work. that would be great. i’ll know in a few weeks if that comes to pass . . .)