I was reminded of this story today.
Flashback to my time in Abu Dhabi.
A friend of mine felt the dreaded tingle on her upper lip, the arrival of a cold sore. Before it could erupt she made a mad dash to the local pharmacy. She went up to the counter and displayed the offending bump on her lip.
The assistant glanced up at her and in monotone, shouted out at the top of her voice to her colleague at the back of the shop
MOHAMMED, HAVE YOU GOT THE CREAM FOR THE HERPES???
My friend's heart did a somersault in her chest. Bear in mind that the expat community there was quite small and everyone knew everyone else. She gave a furtive glance around to see if there was anyone else there.
If a rumour like that got around, she would have had to pop on the next plane home. Well, it would certainly have ruined her chance of ever getting a date!