pharmacies

 
 
 

1.  The Hungarian word for drugstore is even more unpronounceable than most Hungarian words:  Gyogyszertar.  I personally wouldn’t even dream of asking someone on the street where I could find a Gyogyszertar.


2.  Drugstores (pharmacies) are serious places that sell medications and pseudo-medical potions.  And some stuff is regulated in Hungary as though it were a medicine (like contact lens solution, which cannot be obtained anywhere else; I know it’s got to be sterile, but it’s water for God’s sake). They do not sell candy or tissues or magazines or Pop-Tarts or perfume or makeup or snacks.  There are separate stores for that, many of them, and they look a lot like their counterparts around the world.  But pharmacies tend to look older, more serious; the pharmacists seldom speak English (though other customers often do), and their hours are often comparatively short.  They have green crosses in their signage.


3.  There are emergency drugstores, roughly one in every district, though it seems as though they keep changing or moving around or something.  The Budapest Sun publishes a list each week. 


http://www.budapestsun.com/10day.php?date=1970-01-03


Every drugstore has a sign (in Hungarian) in its window telling you where the nearest emergency drugstore is.  It’s never nearby.  And they never speak English.  And their idea of being open 24 hours a day does not include being open during breakfast time, lunch time, dinner time or break time.  And at odd hours they generally look as though they are shut tight as a drum, but there’s a secret buzzer that you ring and someone comes out and, if they can communicate with you at all (other than to tell you that they are out of what you are looking for) they are sizing you up to determine if you are really sick enough to merit their time on this holiday.



 

The Hungarian word for drugstore is even more unpronounceable than most Hungarian words:  Gyogyszertar.  I personally wouldn’t even dream of asking someone on the street where I could find a Gyogyszertar.

Three things to remember through the phlegm when you are sick while traveling and searching for an open pharmacy in Budapest: