I recently posted about my 7-year anniversary of living in Europe and after so long, sometimes I worry that I’m getting jaded. Yes, I routinely see castles and cathedrals and small children dressed in Tracht on Sunday afternoons, and I do try to appreciate those things when I’m not running late or fighting through people on my morning commute. Sometimes though, it really is the little things that remind me of how cool this whole thing is.
For example: last night BV and I celebrated the end of our vegetarian month by going out in Nürnberg for some burgers and Biers. Before we could get to that though, I had to make a quick stop at the pharmacy to pick up a prescription. We were on the way to the city just before 7 o’clock and so I did a quick Google on the train to make sure that I could find an open pharmacy. (Remember, this is Bavaria and things are open until 8pm, if you are lucky.) Google assured me that a big pharmacy that was on the way to burgers would be open, and so we headed that way.
Pharmacies are all over the place, but this one is located right on a corner of Lorenzer Platz; prime real estate in Nürnberg. Thus it was no surprise that even at the “late” hour, it was pretty busy. There were two lines (I use the term loosely), and several other people milling about. We tried to join a line that got us out of the automatic door range, and waited our turn.
While pondering just how much apparently-magical skin cream that some tourists in the next line were planning to buy (answer: a LOT) and wondering what they knew that I clearly don’t, I was distracted by a small detail of the pharmacy’s logo on the wall behind the counter…
It’s a bit small, but the date? Yep… this pharmacy has existed since 1442. This year it may be selling brightly packaged skin care products to over-excited tourists already laden with shopping bags, but think of all the crazy things that have already passed over those counters. I immediately started picturing powdered snakeskin in glass vials and medieval plague doctors passing through the (non-automatic) doors in their creepy masks.
Like so many cities in Germany, Nürnberg has around a thousand years of history, but that’s easy to forget in the day to day. Even when we’re literally staring at the castle on the way to eat a burger, sometimes it takes a pharmacy logo to remind me that I’m surrounded by History Channel fodder that is real life, and that’s pretty damn cool.