In Israel, Itching for a Cure

We were hustling through Tel Aviv to get to the Palmach Museum, where we were scheduled for a tour to learn about the young men and women who worked underground to help Palestine become Israel. We didn't yet know that we'd grow attached to the characters in a sort-of re-enactment (and that I'd cry. Twice.), or that we'd see a photograph of Nir the private tour guide's father, who was among this elite group.

We did know that our son had a bug bite. An itchy one. We stepped into a pharmacy and, while I hurriedly sought out the first aid section, Nir stood on line at the pharmacy counter.I couldn't imagine why. I tried to ignore him, sure that I'd find a Solarcaine spray or somesuch, pay a few shekels and be done.
"The Band-Aids are here," I announced, not that my husband or sons cared. "The spray must be nearby." I said that about 20 times, searching the same shelves over and over. Where else would an anti-itch spray or cream be?

Nir called me to the counter, handed me a tube -- not a spray, mind you, a tube -- of a product called Life. I came in a serious-looking box, the type you expect from a prescription product. And it cost a crazy $15.

Rushing, I handed over my credit card and hurled the box at my kid. He dabbed a bit on, tried again, and found the stuff useless.
But then ...
I broke out in a rash from slathering too much potent sunscreen on my arms over the course of the week. I doused my skin in this mystery concoction -- and had immediate relief. Miraculous. Most of text on the box and tube is in Hebrew so I had no idea what this product was, why it had to be purchased from the pharmacy counter, or how Nir knew to ask for it there. But the ingredient list is repeated in English. This magic potion seems to be more holistic than medical. Extracts of aloe vera, onion and garlic are among the ingredients.
I'm hanging onto this tube. When I run out, I'll have to beg traveling friends to stand on line for me in Tel Aviv pharmacies. Who knew?

Travel safe,