Life in a Backpack: “We’re going in that direction” 8/20 & 8/21

Day five and six of my three month European backpacking journal

Saturday, August 20th, 2016

There are three sure ways to become fluent in Hungarian: Find a Hungarian lover (they are the best), devote ten years to studying the dictionary, or take a few shots of palinka (a traditional Hungarian fruit brandy. At 50% alcohol, I better stick to the dictionary).

I came to Budapest with the knowledge that the Hungarian language is one of the most difficult in the world to learn.

For example:

The longest word in Hungarian is megkaposztasitottalanitottatok (no, that is not a typo).

It describes how the cook put too much cabbage into a pot to boil.

My favorite word is susogo, and it means something like hush.

Some words I can actually pronounce:

helló

köszönöm (thank you)

elnézést (excuse me)

The language is similar to Finnish, but the two different speakers would have a hard time understanding one another. Although both have the same words, the words have completely different meanings.

We finally arrived at our hostel at 1:30 am last night, tired, disoriented, and hungry. Since the hostel only dealt in cash, I quickly learned I was a millionaire after pulling money out of the ATM!

Here’s what I mean:

Each note denomination looks like this

500ft

1,000ft (about 3 euros)

2,000ft

5,000ft

10,000ft

…etc. Bill Gates, look out!

It’s hard not to believe that the Hungarians are great mathematicians because of all those zeros at the end of their notes.

Look at these prices at a typical grocery store.

Now it’s time to eat

A typical breakfast for us every morning in Budapest consisted of a couple of pastries from either a street vender or a grocery store. For 361ft (1 euro), we ate so many different flavors.

Something familiar with something new. A chocolate croissant on the edge of my fingers and a Tepertos pogasca, a spicy, salty, and crunchy biscuit like pastry (great for stuffing in backpack for snacks later)

If you’re on a diet, I’m so sorry that Budapest is your destination, because they love to eat heavy, meaty meals here. As a vegetarian, I thought I would die until I discovered “The Communist Pizza” (Lango, a plate-sized of crispy baked doe topped with sour cream, cheese, and garlic). Although the Lango is delicious, I desperately needed to find something that wasn’t all bread (another Hungarian delicacy).

Thank goodness for Turkish influence in Eastern Europe. The discovery of Turkish food down the road from our hostel saved me from falling into a diabetic coma. A falafel plate with pita, rich, and salad.

According to our sources, on average each citizen consumes 32 of these little guys a month. That’s 1 for every day, 2 for a really good day.”

Let’s have a drink

Apple palinka (traditional fruit brandy, a hefty 50% alcohol shot)

Just a sample of the things checked off of the to-do list

  • Take a guided walking tour of city
  • Walk across the chain bridge that connects the two sides of Budapest
  • Visit House of Terror (museum dedicated to the victims of communism in Hungary)
  • Visit city park
  • Try local food
  • Get lost in the city
  • Visit Szechenyi baths and partake

I want to go on talking about Budapest, but I’d rather just show you the pictures.

Two days of photos

According to Hungarian tradition, the left side of a gentlemen is designated for whores. Chris is a whore, sorry Mom.
Tomorrow we leave for Vienna!
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