It was very stupid of me not to think ahead and take any pseudo-ephedrine with me considering that is the only thing that works for clearing my sinuses when I have a cold.
Of course I ended up getting a sore throat on day 3, and the beginnings of a cold on day 4 of our trip and by lunchtime on day 5 I was feeling pretty miserable. So we were at Ala Moana and went into Longs Drugs where I asked for some pseudo-ephedrine.
Now I am not a complete idiot, I know this drug is involved in making illegal drugs and is difficult to get in Australia - we have to show our drivers licence and they take our info and enter it into the computer for future reference and even then we can only get 3 days worth of tablets at a time. I figured it would be a similar deal in the US.
Imagine my surprise when the pharmacy girl told me I needed to have a US passport or drivers licence in order to get this drug. When I told her I had both my Australian passport and drivers licence, she told me neither of those were acceptable and to go outside and ask people going past to find a US person with their licence or passport who would be willing to buy this drug for me. Alternatively to go and see a doctor and get a script.
I wasn't going to do the former, so I bought a different option (the one with phenylwhatever they call it, that has never worked for me anytime I have tried it, but I hoped it might this time) and some throat lozenges, and went back to the hotel.
I cannot tell you how frustrating it was that the drugs were right there, and I had bunches of ID on me, and they would not accept them. Grrr!
A couple of hours later, with my sinus completely and totally blocked, I gave in and called the doctor clinic - it would have cost me $130 to see the doctor - possibly more. They told me to try calling Walgreens and see if they might help me. So I did, and they told me my Aussie passport would be just fine with them.
We caught the bus there, with me fearing the whole way that I would get there and suddenly my passport would not be ok, but they were as good as their word on the phone, and I left with the tablets I needed.
While I was there I discovered pretty much all the make up I had wanted to buy in Longs was cheaper at Walmart/Walgreens anyway, in some cases considerably cheaper, so I spent my money there instead.
I am posting this for two reasons - as a cautionary tale to make sure you take every possible drug you think you might need with you just in case - and to let people know that Walgreens accept id other than US id for those drugs, in case you run out or forget to take them.