A slightly different tourist guide
According to recently published statistics 4.376 million tourists visited the Hungarian capital in the year of 2011. As I myself live there, I can assure everyone that the residents of Budapest are very happy about the huge number of foreigners, even if they cause chaos from time to time. We all know that on a summer day there’s absolutely no point going near the Hero’s Square, which is one of the most popular attractions in the city, as the entire area is blockaded by tourist buses. Speaking of chaos, when I was leaving my apartment building last Tuesday I accidentally got carried along with a crowd of Japanese people, so I had no other option but to visit the Parliament. Despite of this minor inconvenience I’m deeply honored that so many of you wish to see my truly amazing city. A wide variety of tourist guidebooks are available on the market so there’s absolutely no need for me to write another one, but I just couldn’t resist to write some additional information as those books don’t tell you everything.
There are many public sculptures scattered around the city, most of them are made of some kind of metal. Should you see one that you really fancy, take a picture of it at once as there’s a strong possibility that it won’t be there by tomorrow. Scrap metal business is booming in Hungary and if the low life citizens don’t find any scrap metal, they make some. During the night hours bunches of creeps are lurking around the city armed with chainsaws. Beware of mutilated sculptures as they are not a pretty sight! I really don’t mean to brag with the deeds of my fellow countrymen, but on a bright morning last summer a large piece of railway was missing along one of the Tram lines. That was a lovely spectacle as Tram traffic came to a total standstill.
I’ve got the strange feeling that the World’s entire human population knows about the ‘Hungarian Goulash’. Please stop driving us crazy by asking questions about this dish all the time. Go to a restaurant and taste it if you really have to, but make sure to ask the waitress how many remarkably hot chili peppers were thrown into it during the cooking time, unless you want to end up literally breathing fire.
Should you wish to spend your entire holiday under the wonderful influence of alcohol, you can do that at a very good price. Hungarian wine is outstanding quality and you can buy even the most expensive bottle without applying for a bank loan. Mind you, buying vintage wine from the famous Tokaj region might set you back by half a million Hungarian Forints, but that’s fairly reasonable as wine – unlike women, who get heavily wrinkled – gets better with age.
Hungarian is the most widely spoken language in the country. Some folks speak excellent English, providing that they were born and raised in the United States/United Kingdom. The younger generation does speak English nowadays but there’s no point talking to them, as they don’t hear a thing you say from the extremely loud music that is coming from their earphones. In case you are lost, use your iPhone to find the way back to your hotel.
There are many means of transportation in the city, one of them is the Underground Subway which is undoubtedly excellent. Don’t be alarmed when a heap of rust is coming out of the tunnel at the station. That is actually a train and it was made by the hands of Russian proletarians, so it rarely falls apart even in its current state.
The Great Market Hall
If you think garlic and smoked sausages are fascinating then you must definitely visit this place. You can wander around in there for hours in the company of equally excited fellow tourists while staring at big piles of Hungarian Salami.
Road repair work and cable laying is a favorite pass time in Budapest. Carefully watch your steps all the time if you don’t want to disappear in a freshly dug trench in front of your slightly overpriced hotel!
Absolutely essential information about an Eastern European woman
Date of Birth: 30 December, year unknown
Marital status: single, due to fading good looks and mature age
Profile:I’m an Award-winning chocolate product consumer with many years of experience. Successfully completed the ‘How to loose your waistline’ project.
Career summery:I was intensely bored for forty-seven years and then – being a genius – I suddenly figured out that I could use the letters on my laptop’s keyboard for writing. Instead of playing Farm Heroes Saga and other fascinating games on Facebook I created a blog full of nonsense. To be able to read my posts, you should learn Hungarian. Don’t bother to do that just for my sake, it’s a frightfully difficult language and there’s a slight possibility that I’m not so funny after all.
- Meaningless job titles
- Outrageous salaries
- Pervert male colleagues
- Severe coffee addiction
- Extremely annoying clients
- Endless amount of Solitaire
Education:BA degree in Wasting Precious Time by Doing Nothing
- Hungarian (effortlessly spoken)
- English (severe confusion regarding the verb tenses)
- Mastery of bitching
- Extensive knowledge of sarcasm
- Ability to write under the influence (WUI)
Monday: I keep my feet in a bucket of ice as the heat is unbearable in the living room. I watch the news on TV where the annoying newsreader announces that a record heatwave descended over the country. Really? You don’t say!
Tuesday: At 10 a.m. it’s 99° F. To avoid first degree sunburn I’m bathing in various skincare products and I’m walking only on the shady side of the streets. I visit my mother who’s happy to inform me that I managed to sweat off my entire mascara and I look slightly strange with panda eyes. Her next door neighbor, eighty-five years old Mr. Bradley is watering his garden, one couldn’t call him overdressed as he is wearing nothing else but a pair of briefs. Mrs. Bradley is not so happy to see her husband on display without his trousers, her voice is clearly audible around the whole district when she says: “Get in the house right now you dirty old swine!”
Wednesday: I go to the nearest shop to buy an electric fan, preferably with a remote control as I don’t wish to move my ass from the sofa in order to adjust the speed. It takes hours of hard work to assemble this ever-so-simple equipment but time flies when you’re having fun! There are no batteries provided in the package. That’s a lovely surprise! I’m absolutely determined not to start the damn thing manually, so I take out the batteries from the TV’s remote control. At third speed a tornado forms in my living room and I’m feeling over the moon. My houseplants look at me with severe distress so I explain them the necessity of a cooling system. Eventually they understand that if I die here because of heat exhaustion, they’ll die of thirst.
Thursday: How lovely it is to travel on a public transport bus! There’s no extra charge for the sauna, the service is included in the usual fare. I strongly believe that every vehicle should carry a doctor as elderly people tend to collapse on the floor just a few minutes after boarding. In case of a shortage of doctors my advice is to install a flipping air conditioner!
Friday: It’s 104° F today. Women can’t be bothered about their looks anymore (or they’ve got no mirror in the house), regardless of age and bodyweight they’re wearing shorts and tiny tank tops. On my way home I get stuck in the melted asphalt three times, once in the middle of the road. While I’m desperately trying to pull out my lovely kitten hill sandal form the goo, I can see from the corner of my eye that a truck is coming. I have absolutely no doubt that it will run over me and I just hope it carries something frozen so at least my lifeless body will be put on ice. Could somebody please give my deepest appreciation to the people of Africa, staying alive in 122° F is a remarkable achievement!
Saturday: I watch Antarctic expeditions on National Geographic channel as it feels amazing to see some snow and a lot of ice. In the afternoon I go to the nearest shopping mall and I check out all the premises. I have no intention to do any shopping, I’m searching for the coolest shop that’s all. The competition is won by Marks & Spencer so I wander around in there for three hours. I can tell the security guard finds me suspicious so eventually I buy a T-shirt.
Sunday: It’s 90° F in the house. I’ve got zero appetite and I don’t care if nibbling on ice cubes may lead to starvation. At around four o’clock in the afternoon I pull a chair to the fridge, I open the door and I read The Huge Book of Hell by Matt Groening. Later on I check out a few Travel Agent websites and I call my mother to inform her about my holiday to Scandinavia. According to the weather forecast the temperatures simply refuse to go down so I make a note to call the Swedish Embassy tomorrow to find out about the immigration procedure.
Ten simple rules for midsummer sale shopping
- Go to the nearest shopping mall at least two hours before the opening time, wear sensible shoes and have all your freshly polished credit cards ready.
- Don’t be afraid to enter a store that is fully packed with hysterical women. Punch, kick and use your elbows. Surely there’s enough room there for one more person.
- When you see a woman heading to the fitting room with the last orange top that you really like, you must put up a fight. Instead of breaking her arm, try using verbal abuse such as, “Let it go bitch, it’s mine!”
- Don’t bother to try it on if it costs less than $20. Just buy it. If it doesn’t fit, you’ll give it to your sister for her birthday.
- If it’s a real bargain, buy one in every color. Never mind if you don’t like pink, you’ll get used to it!
- Do not harass the shop assistants. They haven’t got it in a different size for crying out loud!
- Don’t waste precious time by sitting down to have lunch, you can eat a sandwich while riding between floors on the escalator.
- Try to have a bit of control. Spending a full month’s salary in three hours is not a wise thing to do. Think about your husband’s reaction! Big, teary, innocent eyes are always helpful, but you must make it look real so have some practice in the toilet before you leave the shopping mall.
- Make sure to remember where you’ve parked the car. The last thing you need at the end of a hard day is wandering around a parking lot for hours.
- Try to sneak into the house unnoticed and hide the shopping bags in the closet. Have a quick look at the receipts. If you’ve spent more than $ 5 000 then you’re in big trouble and I’m not so sure that big, teary, innocent eyes will get you out of it. To save your ass, cook your husband’s favorite meal and serve it to him wearing the kind of lingerie that makes his eyes pop out!
Hurray, I’ve got older again!
I wake up with a smile on my face and then I accidentally look at the calendar. I start to scream at the top of my voice and I carry on doing that for the next five minutes. I have to be absolutely certain, so I take a pen and a piece of paper and I carry out a simple mathematical calculation: 2012-1964=48. Oh, bloody hell, so it is correct! I sincerely hope that nobody calls to wish me happy birthday as you couldn’t call me happy at all! I consume half a bottle of mood enhancing Vodka for breakfast. Half an hour later there’s a major improvement as I don’t feel like jumping out of the window anymore, instead I sing Mariah Carey songs on the balcony. It’s 24º F outside and I’m wearing my pajamas. Ten minutes later I’m absolutely frozen and as my neighbors show zero interest in my ability of singing I stop howling. I check my wrinkles and other facial disasters in the bathroom mirror, to avoid seeing my sagging breasts I blindfold myself before I take a shower. My mother calls so I must pretend to be happy and sober. Oscar winning performance! I refuse to take any other phone calls and there’s absolutely no way that I’m going to read any Facebook messages. I sit down to my computer and I write a letter to the Congress. I demand an immediate amendment in Criminal Law as I strongly believe that those people who wish ‘happy’ birthday to a woman who’s over forty must be punished by a short term jail sentence.
I apply make up to my forty-eight years old face and I go to the corner shop to buy some milk. Being slightly senile and considerably drunk I forget to buy the milk, but I manage to get fifteen boxes of chocolate chip biscuits and some fish fingers that I don’t even like. Back home I eat a slice of heavily over burnt toast and decide to stop feeling sorry for myself. I contemplate to sing a few more Mariah Carey songs on the balcony just to annoy my neighbors but eventually I decide to log on to the Internet. I search for some ‘celebrities without makeup’ photos as I’m absolutely certain that seeing a few famous women looking terrible would make me feel so much better. Two hours and five more glasses of Vodka later I feel sensational! I go on a housecleaning rampage just to keep myself occupied, and somehow I manage not to break my neck when I climb up on the ladder to dust the ceiling lamp. I accidentally knock down the unfortunate Christmas tree with the vacuum cleaner but it doesn’t bother me at all. Suddenly I feel really hungry so to prevent death by starvation I decide to heat up some leftovers. I get the blue box out of the fridge and I chuck it in the microwave. Two minutes later I realize that I successfully melted a piece of Parmesan cheese. At this point I decide to sober up and I drink a ristretto. To make the food issue simple I shovel a pack of chips into my face and later on I redecorate the Christmas tree. One of my favorite ornaments went missing, I have a strong suspicion that it might have ended up in the vacuum cleaner.
At 6 p.m. my friends drug me out of the house despite of my vigorous protest. By 9 p.m. I’m totally drunk again and I’m getting increasingly worried about the headache that I’m going to wake up with tomorrow. At around 10 p.m. I absolutely don’t care about my age anymore and I behave disgracefully by smooching an unsuspecting bartender. At midnight I walk home barefoot in the snow singing Mariah Carey songs again to entertain those people, who are unable to sleep. I’m desperately trying to remember how much had I paid for the pair of shoes I lost and I sincerely hope I didn’t lose my house key. Before I go to sleep I call my mother to thank her for bringing me to this wonderful world. She’s not at all delighted to be woken up in the middle of the night by her alcohol influenced forty-eighth years old daughter, but she takes a deep breath and says, ‘Happy Birthday darling’ anyway.
Getting around under difficult circumstances
- Before you leave the house call the National Ice Skating Association and ask for advice. Listen to what they’ve just said (Yes, ice is slippery!) and forget about wearing your high heel Manolo Blahnik boots.
- Take an Italian dictionary with you. Italians have a wide selection of swear words so you can use a different one every time you fall flat on your face.
- Control your hysterical laughter when you see your neighbor sitting on her ass in the middle of the road. She’s a bitch all right, but she is in a dangerous situation so it’s not funny at all.
- Be prepared to jump at any time to avoid being run over by sliding cars.
- When you finally reach the corner shop say thank you to the Lord and ask the shopkeeper if you could spend the night there.
- Make sure to buy enough food as at the end of this experience you won’t feel like leaving the house again till spring time.
- Try not to harass other pedestrians by grabbing their arms when you’re about to fall.
- In case you’ve run out of Italian swear words don’t be ashamed to use English ones.
- Hold on tight to your shopping bags and don’t worry too much about your broken bones. You can call and ambulance later.
- If you’ve fallen again just a few meters away from your house, don’t bother to stand up. Stay on your hands and knees and gracefully crawl to the front door.
How to survive a five hours power cut during wintertime
- Say the ‘F’ word every time you think of the electricity company
- To prevent hypothermia keep running around in the living room. While you’re at it, you might as well make yourself useful by dusting the furniture.
- Curse the day when you’ve got rid of your gas cooker.
- Bumping into your household fixtures and fittings can cause serious bruising so try to find a portable light source. Say thank you to the Lord for not breaking your bones when you tumble down on the stairs to the cellar. Make a promise to keep the torch in the kitchen from now on.
- Try not to get hysterical when your freezer starts to play the ‘how to flood the entire kitchen’ game.
- To prevent food from defrosting simply open the kitchen window and throw everything out in the snow. For those of you who live in Australia: presumably you haven’t got the slightest clue what snow is, so don’t throw frozen food out of your kitchen window. It will only attract the dingoes.
- Land-line phones don’t need electricity so make plenty of prank calls to annoy strange people and to keep yourself occupied.
- For entertainment, light a few candles and stare at the cracks on the wall.
- In case you get really bored put a candle near the curtain, in five minutes you’ll have a bunch of handsome firefighters coming through the door.
- Now that you know what was it like to live in medieval times, don’t forget to feel sorry for those unfortunate people!