My hostel directed me to an airport bus stop a short walk away.
Very helpful for travelers to have a direct option especially for early flights.
No issues this time, bus went to both terminals and mine was the first drop off.
Boarded a half full flight, but was seated next to a guy wearing headphones.
Once doors closed he hopped into an empty row, taking his loud tunes and Maccie’s meal he had stashed in his bag.
I instantly fell asleep as it was a 930am flight so I didn’t get much sleep the night before.
It’s always strange landing in an EU country as you just walk by passport check, but since I originated in another EU country, they don’t check anyone.
I locate a long line for the bus into town and realize the machine not only takes Hungarian currency, but only coins, which I have neither.
Found an ATM and the currency is way different, everything is in thousands of fornits.
I randomly pick the smallest amount, I have no idea what this translates to euros or dollars.
It’s raining again so I figure I’ll break my smallest bill, 1000, to get coffee, which is 200.
There is an angry lady in front of me who is insisting on paying in euros, ‘this country is in the EU, why are my euros no good? This is a stupid country!’ She exclaims and storms off leaving her coffee and a perplexed look on the servers face.
She struggles to give me change, lots of coins and bills. I explain its the smallest bill I have and wish the banks would create ATMs that dispensed reasonable, smaller notes. This was an issue wherever I went.
I sit and sip my coffee and watch it rain. I figure out my route via bus and it’s far, plus a long walk from bus drop off to my hostel.
I may as well taxi since its direct and Hungary seems to be quite cheap.
No issues on the ride, just silence as we do not speak the same language.
I stash my wet items into the room and head into the lounge to charge my phone and wait out the rain.
I talk a bit with a guy at a table tapping away on an iMac. He is working for a company in town and has a couple meetings but pretty much, he says he can work anywhere.
I decide that today is a rainout so may as well do laundry.
I find a highly rated wash spot across town and head out. I shouldn’t seem too odd wearing a raincoat, it is raining after all.
Hungry I stop into a small noodle joint that has a sign reading they are best noodles in town, don’t be afraid of their small size, good things come from small packages.
There are maybe 2 seats to eat inside, it’s likely a takeout spot but the lady smiles and motions to sit while she prepares chicken and noodles in a wok.
It’s incredibly fast, tossing in veggies, sauces and finally noodles, while a chicken breast fries in a shallow pan.
It is a very delicious box of noodles.
Full, I navigate through the rain to my wash spot where I’m met by a guy who handles money, detergent and wash cycles. ‘1 hour,’ he says. ‘I also have internet computers here if you like.’
One room is full of washers and dryers the other full of computers and gamers playing some sort of multiplayer game as they are chatting away surrounded by a cluster of screens.
I pop into pubs during each cycle, trying a new beer each time. They cost the equivalent of 2$ a pint. Wow.
It’s just overcast as I walk back to my hostel.
A search for pubs brings up a spot called Red Ruin, a communist themed pub. I had to check that out. Plus it was a good 20ish minute walk so maybe I can figure out things to see tomorrow.
I cross a Main Street full of cars and people on the way, I was entering the tourist area.
Hard to miss the bar as it has a painting of VI Lenin with a Mohawk on the window.
It’s small pub and all seats are filled so I lean agains a wall watching the bartender.
There are communist propaganda posters all over that almost seem real until you read them: ‘No toilet paper isn’t a problem. We don’t have much food to eat so we don’t need it!’ Read one.
The toilets are in the basement which has even more paintings: Stalin dressed as a referee holding a red card stood out.
As I leave one says something in Hungarian to me so I shrug, ‘English?’
‘What? I thought you were local, you look Hungarian. Cool you learned a word in our language. Join us?’
They are pro skiers studying in town. Both speak several languages as they’ve been going to private schools all their lives in different countries.
They are drinking liters of a wine drink. I saw the bartender make them earlier: about a quarter of rose wine and soda water.
They are hungry Hungarians, haha so they go to eat but want to go out somewhere with me later. They’ll be back.
I get a pint and wait, sure enough they come back so we go back down to the basement.
They are pretty drunk but still get half liters of the wine drink.
They tell me Hungarian is the most difficult language to learn and pronounce.
I try a couple phrases and they laugh, I don’t have the right sounding phrasing.
We take off towards city center but not before finding a store for more wine. They pass the bottle to me and I take a gulp.
We walk and drink, they take turns talking to random girls in different languages, hoping to get a couple to join us.
The most receptive are a couple girls from Ireland who agree to join us.
They both seem way into the Hungarian athletes, but that changes for a moment when I reveal I’m on a extended trip.
They are finishing a month long trip due to school starting. They are staying up all night due to their very early flight.
They say I’m the 1st person they know who sold everything to travel, something they’ve talked about but now had proof it’s possible.
We arrive to a club a bass thumping, neon lazer club. The girls are less into this idea now as am I.
My plan to talk to them also fails as I point to a small pub and tell them to join me if they wanted to keep talking. I drank a beer alone.
It was late plus I need to orientate myself as I’m in a different part of town.
I’m most definitely in the tourist part of town as no less than 3 girls say hello to me, then ‘would you like a blowjob? I’ll suck your dick, you know you want to.’ These were pretty girls, too, I would safely call beautiful.
I was just buzzed enough to say ‘No but can I ask you a question? You’re really pretty, why are you out here?’
Again I’m shocked most were not offended at the question and gladly told me they enjoyed the thrill of the moment and getting someone off made them happy.
One said she made enough money to support her family in the country.
‘I make more in one night out here than a week working in an office. I only work when I want to and I’m free to do anything during the day.’
Hard to argue if they aren’t being exploited or forced to sell themselves that it was wrong.
Dangerous certainly but so was dating, life, you know? They picked who they wanted, likely only tourists, and seemed very happy.
I had a new perspective or at least something to think over in terms of prostitution.
Made it back to my hostel, it sprinkled rain the final moments of my walk.
Beer: Dreher Classic
Song: Brahms Hungarian Dance #5