The cutest pharmacist

So we had an accident today – I was trying to do some Korean study when I heard a loud crash coming from the bathroom. Are you all right? I shouted. No, came the reply.

I rushed over to the bathroom to find a pile of broken glass, soil, a plant, and drops of blood along with a sorrowful looking Mr Kim holding onto a bloody foot.

It was just a small cut but since there was glass everywhere and quite a bit of blood too we decided it would be best to hobble over to the nearest hospital just in case (about 10 minutes from our house).


After filling in name and ID details we were seen by a doctor immediately.

He took a look at the cut and said he had better take an x-ray of the foot just in case. And Mr Kim readily agreed.

So we had to go downstairs to the x-ray room. Mr Kim pressed the button for the lift but the doctor opened the door to the staircase and said we could just walk down the stairs. (This led me to believe that he didn’t think the injury was too serious. 😉 )

I waited outside the room but I only had to wait five minutes before we were on our way back upstairs, X-ray done. The x-ray showed that there was no problem. So the doctor disappeared and the nurse put some ointment on the cut and covered it with a bandage.

She asked Mr Kim if he had had a tetanus jab recently. He said no. (I can’t remember the last time I had one either for that matter.) So she suggested that a tetanus jab would be a good idea. She unpacked a clean needle and told Mr Kim to stand behind a curtain and pull his trousers down! 30 seconds later he came out from behind the curtain rubbing his bum looking very sorry for himself…

After that we went back to the reception where we had to wait a few minutes because they were having a slight technical hitch with the computers. But soon we paid the bill 14,300 won (with medical insurance card) and were sent to the pharmacist just around the corner to get medicine.


I was not convinced that medicine was really necessary – pain killers (!) and antibiotics. But we bought them anyway. 4,000 won.

The pharmacist was so cute though. Along the back wall was the old style sets of drawers for traditional Korean medicine called a 약재 서랍 (yak-che so-rak) since this pharmacy specialises in not only 양약 (yang yak) western medicine but also 한약 (Han-yak) Korean medicine.

Most pharmacists I’ve been to usually have some other products on sale in the shop to peruse while you are waiting for your prescription. But not here. There were a few toothbrushes on the counter and a couple of lip balms hanging on a rack. But that was about it.


And then we were on our way home. But I couldn’t believe how quickly we were done and dusted. We had gone to the hospital, got treatment, stopped off at the pharmacist, bought medicine and got back home all in about 45 minutes. :) Pretty good going.

I was grumpy getting home though as there was a nice mess of glass waiting on the bathroom floor. Because of course the glass had broken into a MILLION pieces. And I had to spend ages trying to find all the bits of glass. What a pane 😉




2 thoughts on “The cutest pharmacist

  • June 10, 2013 at 2:03 am

    Wow, what a fun article! I am glad Mr. Kim is okay. But you did not include a picture of the ‘cute pharmacist’ . . . ! In 1986 I installed some equipment for the Korean Air Force (ROKAF). The Korean hospitality and support were outstanding. Being clumsy, I tripped over some gear in the middle of the shop and hurt my ankle. Not a sprained ankle but bruised and painful. I went back to work. Somehow the Commander, Commander Kim, found out that I hurt myself. He called me into his office to meet his personal doctor – a Han Yak Chim Doctor. Soon I was sitting down with five needles in my foot and ankle. Commander Kim was laughing and would lean over and thump the needles a few times and laughed some more. I got better quickly. The Han Yak worked. I cannot find such a clever finish as your article, but I will try: I am glad I got stuck!

    • June 12, 2013 at 6:50 am

      Oh, maybe I should have said pharmacy / chemist! not pharmacist? :)
      Thanks for your story! Yes, han yak is great. There are a couple of places near our house that make Korean herbal medicine. So when I walk past that area, it smells very “healthy” as they must be boiling up all kinds of roots and herbs etc.

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