gallery — two shots I managed
to get off before being told to put
the camera away
The day started and ended with museums. In the
morning was the ethnographic museum, probably
the best museum we visited; in the afternoon,
the national gallery.
When we walked into the ethnographic museum,
we were called over by the lady at the cloak
room who, having seen our camera bags on entering,
told us we had to leave them there. "No
picture," she explained. We then went
to the ticket booth where the lady there
asked us if we wanted to take pictures. Puzzling.
We explained that the previous woman had made
us check in our cameras. "But we can take
pictures here?" we asked for clarification
— and somewhat excitedly, too, for we'd
seen pictures of the interior of the museum,
housed in the former Hall of Justice, and knew
it to be a stunning sight indeed. "Yes,"
the woman explained. "If you buy a photo
ticket, you can."
I glanced at the list of prices and saw, to my
horror, that the "photo ticket" was
three times the price of the admission
ticket. Three times as expensive!
Needless to say, we passed.
That afternoon, in the national gallery, after
having taken only my second picture, I was
approached by a security guard who asked me
for my ticket. I handed him my admission ticket
and he responded, "No, your photo ticket."
"Ah. That I don't have," I replied,
putting my camera away.
The stupidity of the idea of having to pay to
take pictures aside, the photo ticket could
actually be a useful thing. The best museums
had them; the worst didn't. So if you go
into a museum in Budapest, always . . .