I don't get a lot of colds -- usually one, occasionally two a year, and they typically last a few days. This is I think my fourth or fifth in just over a year of being here, and the last one lasted a month.
Which leads me to suspect that it's some type of allergy (which I also have never before had much trouble with) rather than colds. Most likely it has to do with the pollution, though it's possible, I suppose, that I'm allergic to corruption and inefficiency.
In any case, I have the usual stuffy/runny nose, coughing/sneezing, etc. And I am reminded of my first cold here.
I went to a pharmacy to get some cold medicine. I looked at the shelves, though I knew I wouldn't find anything there, then went to the counter and asked the young lady (I wonder if they have an age limit on these jobs? They're all young) for help. She asked me what kind I wanted, and I said I had no idea. She handed me a set of twenty tablets in punch-out packaging, of the type you would find inside a box of Benadryl or Contac in the US. She asked me how many I wanted.
I was at a loss -- I had assumed I'd buy a box of them and take however many the directions on/in the box advised. There being no box, there were no directions.
So I asked her how many I should take. She said, "I think probably two a day." She looked over at the other young lady, who said, "Three." So she said, "Every three hours." Then the other girl said, "No, three times a day."
That's what I did, since it seemed fairly reasonable, but I didn't have great confidence in their advice. I survived, though, so it must have been about right.
She said they were 4.5 pesos each, and I told her I wanted ten (I figured three days, plus a spare). So she took out scissors and cut the strip of twenty in half.