bye bye budapest

10/25/04

this morning i set out sightseeing again. i dont know why, but i’m super confused here in budapest. more confused than i’ve been elsewhere on my trip. i think a big part of it is probably the language. i really cant decipher it whatsoever and all of it just sounds so bizarre. so far, traveling in france was kind of easy since i knew some french… at least enough to barely scrape by. in morocco, i didnt know arabic, but french is their second language, so once again, i kind of got by. in spain, although i never took any spanish, i still know a handful of words… gracias, hola, uno, dos, treis, chalupa bell grande… you know, just the essentials. but here, i had absolutely not even the slightest idea what absolutely anything meant.

this made riding the metro quite difficult. i’m sure if someone just explained it to me once, i’d understand it right away, but the kiosks were a bit confusing. instead of other cities where you just buy a ticket and ride the metro anywhere you want, here they have like 5 types of tickets!! from what i was able to decipher, i think they are:a ticket for one ride on one train, a ticket for a ride where you can transfer once, but only for a limited time, a ticket where you can transfer once for an extended amt of time, a ticket where you can transfer up to 3 times, and another ticket which i wasnt sure what it did (unlimited transfers?). not only that, but the tickets have to be vaildated in between trains at these little boxes.

so i bought a ticket, validated it and went. on my way out, i was stopped by the metro police. i nervously handed over my ticket, praying that i had done everything right. i had read in the guidebook that tourists get fined all the time, and that the police dont take “i didnt know” for an answer. the lady looked at the ticket and then looked shocked and a little disgusted… but she gave it back to me and waved me on. errr, huh?? so, did i do it right? if so, what was the glare for? the thing is, i would have defintely been sure of geting the right ticket if SOMEBODY WOULD HAVE HELPED ME OUT! but… nobody would.

everyone that i’ve tried to ask for help here, has just brushed me off and been not very nice about it. when i ask people politely if they speak english, they usually just shake their head angrily and turn away. even policemen! now, i dont expect everyone here to speak english obviously… i just want them to be a bit nicer when they say no! when i’m back home, and people on the street try talking to me in spanish, chinese, or whatnot, i usually try to shrug and make a face that says “i *really* wish i could help you, but i cant! sorry!!” as opposed to making a face that says “please go jump off the nearest cliff you filthy piece of crap”.

anyways, regardless of all this, i tried to make the best of it and just walk around and enjoy the city. like i said earlier.. budapest is amazingly beautiful architecturally, although unfortunately, a lot of the buildings are marred and blackened from all the polution in the city.

well, despite the beauty of the city, i knew i had to get out of budapest… and also i was excited to get to croatia, so i took the 3pm train out. on the thrain i read this book called “the curious incident of the dog in the nighttime” by mark haddon. it’s really good!! if any of you is looking for an easy read that is funny, heartfelt,and a bit sad.. you should check it out!

*v

7 thoughts on “bye bye budapest”

  1. I know what you mean about the language. One of my roommates was born in Hungary, so when she talks to her mom or grandparents on the phone, she launches into Hungarian, and it really is a strange language. Stranger still is when her husband is simultaneously talking to _his_ mom, who’s Israeli. The combo of Hungarian and Yiddish overlapping is pretty trippy.

  2. Zaza Gabor, her mother and sisters were from there.
    Have you seen any really attractive men or women? Too bad there is such a language barrier.

  3. That was precisely my complaint in both Paris and Athens – unbelievably rude people who had absolutely no desire to help a sista out! WTF?!? Poohfaces! >:(

  4. so weird, cause as far as i saw, everyone in paris was super nice and helpful!! well, i’m glad i’m outta budapest!

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