Hungary (Budapest)

Money is a strange thing. It changes not only its color but also its worth as it changes hands and places. And money is truly powerful when things come cheap. For then, it injects shots of greed into your blood and makes you crave for new experiences. And Hungary is an embodiment of that greed. But Hungary is one temptation you should not resist. After all, as Gekko said, “Greed is good.”

Hungary wants you to taste it, lick it, devour it and throw it as if it were a chocolate bar, leaving a sweet after-taste. Hungary has been bedded by a lot of colonial powers, from Romans to the Soviets. Her compromised virginity has now made her like a prostitute, who seduces you into her brothel, wants you to make rough sex to her and forget her, but not the amazing time you had. And that makes Hungary wild.

As you enter Hungary, the walls start getting adorned with graffiti, young and wild. The blue trains with open windows remind you of the Soviet era, old and wild. The ruin bars of Budapest are the town’s life in the night, crazy and wild. ;) It was in one of these that we had Palinka, Hungarian’s drinking pride, with its over 50% alcohol content. For such a highly concentrated spirit, it was surprisingly sweet to the chest. Sweet and wild! Combine shots of Palinka and ruin bars of Budapest and you are left with the best night of your life you will never remember.

Pest (pronounced Pesht) is flat, comprising of short houses with mostly red-bricked roofs with the only two tall buildings being St. Stephen’s Basilica and the Parliament, both of which are 96 meters high. While I thought there would not be too many terrains in Eastern Europe, Budapest proved me wrong. Buda, separated by the river Danube, is more geographically wild, with a little hillock and a majestic castle atop that. Connecting Buda and Pest are many bridges, the most famous of which is the Chain Bridge. All these create a skyline that is comparable with the best in the world.

The Budapest Skyline — with castle and Chain Bridge

Budapest was where I realised how good a walking tour can be, for that was a lesson in travel, history, culture and food all at once. You wouldn’t get a proper meal in Austria for what you would get a 3-course meal in Hungary. And the moment we came to know about this, we devoured on the city, for I had found the combination that I liked most — cheap and nice.

Summarizing, Hungary lives by its own rules and competes with the West on its own terms. It can be the most inviting place if you let it run you wild. And ain’t it hurt anyone to be a little wild in life!

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