Contact solution

Saturday morning I decided to put on one of my last pair of contact lenses for our hike on Esja, only to discover Saturday night that I had no contact lens cleaning solution. I pondered putting them in their case with just regular water, but I have tried that before and it makes the contacts shrink up, and then they are rather painful to put on the eye for the first few minutes. Then I remembered that I have "long wear" contacts, which means I can actually wear them constantly, even sleep in them, for up to two weeks. So that is what I have done until 10pm tonight, just worn my contacts non-stop. Yesterday my eyes felt a little dry, and I thought it really was time to buy some contact solution. Plus I miss wearing my glasses.

So I was happy one of my errands today took me right past Apotek, and that I thought to jump in. I was dreading how much the solution would cost here in Iceland, but found it to be reasonable, actually.

Now I am even more pleased with my purchase though, because as I drew out the bottle just now, I saw that a contact case was included in the box, and that is so great, since my old one was getting a bit icky.

Well enough about the minutia of my life.

The point I wanted to get to was about the linguistic, and logistic, difficulties of being a manufacturer in the EU. They have to find some way to squeeze onto the packaging of their products information in a multiplicity of languages, usually 6 or so, but sometimes more. The instructions and ingredients have to be duplicated in all these languages also. It must be a design headache, and a real wrench in marketers' desire to have attractive packaging.

In the U.S., we do not have this problem. Everything is in English, though sometimes for marketing purposes, Spanish or another language is sometimes included on the packaging.

Tonight I have a new-found appreciation for the way the European system has pushed the creativity of the manufacturers in the E.U. because, of course, all contact cases need to have a fool-proof way to indicate which side holds the left contact lens, and which side the right contact lens. In the US, this is often done by stamping a big L on one lid and a big R on the other lid.

Such a pedantic, alphabetical approach however does not work in the EU, with its wide linguistic market.

So this case has a little outline of a heart on one side, and on one lid. When the heart is facing the way a heart is supposed to face, pointy side-down, it is on the left. So that is where the left contact goes, inside the cubby with the cute heart on top.

I am thinking this means the E.U. would be a good place to live.


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