Hungary for Budapest

I took a 4-day side trip to Budapest, Hungary. It’s called the Paris of the east. I don’t know why because it doesn’t feel like Paris at all. It’s a cool place but just nothing like Paris. I really liked Budapest though it had a charm in it’s own way that’s difficult to explain in words but here I am attempting to explain it that way.

BATH HOUSES: The bath houses here are supposed to be amazing. So I went to the most popular one, the Szchenyi Thermal Baths. The outdoor pool was sooo warm it was as if they had 5 elephants in it taking a non stop piss, warm warm warm. I loved it. Don’t worry the elephants are invisible so you never see them pissing. I became friends with one of the invisible elephants, her name was Henrietta. This place is massive with 3 huge outdoor pools. And a crazy amount of pools inside from freezing cold, to hot, to saunas galore. Go. You will like it. It’s a must in Budapest.

IMG_7486

RUIN PUBS: They have taken old ruin buildings and have turned them into amazing bars. I went to a couple of them but the one that really stood out is Szimpla Kert. Wow, that place is one of the raddest bars I’ve ever been to. Go to it. And make love to it. In Szimpla Kert they have so many different areas with different music, hookah areas, food areas, etc. I went two nights and had the hookah each time and had plenty of beautiful beers. They also have dickbread and sell carrots, apparently selling phallic snacks is good for business. I bought a carrot. The dickbread was sold out by the time I got hungry again.

HUNGARIAN BOOZE: They have a variety of Hungarian Beer from Soproni, Dreher and Borsodi that are just basic simple lagers. Nothing special except the price which is super cheap at $1 to $2 a beer. Hungary’s popular liquor shot is Palinka which is pretty much a fruit brandy. It’s so strong that it puts hair back on bald men. It comes in a variety of fruits like Apricot, pear, plum and cherry. I had a cherry that I could feel burning in my soul for 30 minutes. Unicum is another popular liquor shot and has a light licorice taste.

IMG_7354

HUNGARIAN FOOD: I tried a variety of Hungary’s most popular dishes and realized these people love Paprika in their food. They are famously known for being the originators of Goulash which is a soup of beef, potatoes and vegetables and a lot of paprika.  I had it and it’s pretty good, not great though. Another popular Hungarian dish is (Paprikas Csirke) Chicken Paprikash. Which is chicken served with a creamy paprika sauce with a dollop of sour cream. It came with dumplings which is just little pieces of pasta that are a little like gnocchi. Dumplings are perplexing me in Europe. In my US brain dumplings are asian style dumplings. But Prague’s dumplings are different too, they are like sliced bread. And now Hungary’s dumplings are different too. Apparently dumplings have a serious multiple personality disorder.

An interesting street snack is “Langos” which is a plate size of fried dough that you can have in different ways.  I asked the langos stand lady to do it the way a Hungarian does it so she put garlic sauce, sour cream and cheese on it. It was massive, a lot bigger than I expected. It was good but way to filling. I only ate a third of it and I felt like shit for 3 hours. It has the power to turn you into a lethargic sloth so be careful.

Turos Csusza (cheese noodles) which is wide noodles mixed in with Turo cheese. Turo cheese is a mix between cottage cheese and ricotta cheese. It was good, nothing amazing but worth trying. Also I never had goose and it was on the menu and had to try it. And it was good but greasy. It’s like the mixture of turkey and duck which is pretty good. Don’t know if it’s Hungarian or not, but it was delicious and you should eat goose and let it fly into your bellyyyy mmmmmmmmmm.

SITES: I saw some metal shoes called “Shoes on the Danube.” It’s a memorial to the Budapest Jews who were shot by Arrow Cross militiamen during WW2. The victims were lined up and shot into the Danube River. Since shoes were valuable at the time, they made them take their shoes off. Super sad. Then I went on the Chain bridge that separated Buda from Pest. Apparently Budapest is one place but split between two areas of Buda and Pest by the river. Then I saw a bunch of statues, cathedrals etc.

WHY DID I COME HERE?: In my last full time job I was a Creative Director on Taco Bell. And we shot a commercial in Budapest to give it a cold war feel. I unfortunately didn’t get to go on the shoot because I was going through some personal stuff at the time. So I always wanted to go and check it out since I spent hours in an edit bay staring at the amazing footage that was shot there. So I’m glad I got to come. Here’s the commercial if your interested in checking it out.

THINGS NEVER TO DO IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY: Never start watching a hit show that everyone says you need to watch. I started watching “Stranger Things”. Wow, it’s great. Wow, I watched it after coming home from partying. Wow, I stayed up till 5am both nights, granted I came home at 2am and 3am respectively but still don’t watch a hit show because it’s a hit for a reason and it’s a drug and you will watch more than you should and you will sleep in till noon and miss out on a couple hours when you should be awesome in a new city. We all know this but yet the drug of a new show that everyone loves is soooooo strong. Damnnnnn you Stranger Things!!! Damn you and your awesomeness drug.

header3-stranger-things-80s-movies

OVERALL: Budapest is rad. Go to it. Go to the bath houses, wow. Go to the ruin pubs mainly Szimpl Kert but go early or the line will be longer than Ron Jeremy’s wang. Those are the two must things I think you need to do.

Advertisements

Vienna from a local friend’s eyes

One of the Europeans, Jacek, that I’m traveling with is from Vienna, Austria. While we were in Prague he offered to share his city through his eyes for a weekend. So just like “Being John Malkovich” I crawled into his body for the weekend. I know what you are thinking, this is really creepy. Actually it’s not, it’s awesome because he’s really fit and I’m picking up way more woman being in his body than my own. I’ve decided to not give him his body back. Sorry Jacek. Also sorry to Jacek’s sister, who graciously let us stay in her apartment where we made it smell like dirty men.

CROSS WALKS: The cross walk’s are rad here. They show a little love as you cross the street. Not all the stop lights show this love but 49 of them in the city do which is pretty sweet. The crosswalks show same sex couples and opposite sex couples with a little heart above them. They were installed years ago for the Eurovision Song Contest and “Life Ball” a charity event to raise money for HIV and Aids.

img_7628

HITLER’S BALCONY: One of the things that really stood out is the balcony at Hofburg palace, which is the Balcony that Hitler gave one of his biggest speeches. Hitler was born in Austria and was a failed painter before moving to Germany. Jacek played the audio of the famous speech as we stood in front of it. It was a creepy and odd feeling to be around such a dark part of history.

Here’s some video footage of his speech from this balcony.

FOOD AND DRINK: Austria is known for their Schnitzel which is meat pounded thin then breaded and fried. It’s fried so of course it’s delicious. I enjoyed a lot of their lagers too especially Ottakringer and tried their local soda called Almdudler which is a little fruity ginger ale.

KaseKrainer is a sausage with cheese in it. It brought me back to my youth of eating hotdogs with cheese in them which I absolutely loved. But these were a thousands times better and apparently a staple of late night drunk eating in Vienna. Also the Buns are a hollowed out roll that they put condiments and your sausage in which makes it a lot less messy to eat. And it makes it feel like your sausage is a little baby safely swaddled until you eat your baby and you become a disgraced baby eater.

Sacher Cake is a chocolate and marmalade cake made famous from the Hotel Sacher. Another Austrian desert is the KaiserSchmarren (Emperor’s Mess) which is a shredded sweet pancake with berries and powdered sugar on it. Austria’s version of Coffee is Melange which is, a lot like a cappucino, one espresso shot in a coffee cup topped with milk steamed and foamed.

VOLKSGARTAN BOOTY SHAKING CLUB: Volksgartan was a club to shake my money maker. Apparently we were around a time where you dress in lederhosen. And the girls had traditional Dirndl dresses on that looked like german beer maids and ladies from the sound of music. Which made me do music sounds in my pants as I watched a combo of electronic music and girls dancing in Dirndl’s, hot, hot, hot. Like call the Fire Department that puts out the fires at the fire department hot. I thought this was just an Octoberfest thing in Germany but apparently not. Apparently I didn’t get creepy and take pics of the girls in their Dirndl’s so I added a pic from google of what they were wearing below.

Electronic music usually isn’t my thing. But there’s a certain point where you just let loose anyways and shake what your momma gave you. And she gave me a booty shaker as this video below makes me look way cooler than I actually am.

CITY TOUR: Jacek gave us a walking tour of his beautiful city with a digital tour with a portable speaker. I have never tried a digital tour but it was great and nice avoiding the painstaking walking tours. We saw a variety of sites from Saint Petersburg Church that has a claustrophobic stairways to get a view from the top, Opera house, National Library (Hitler’s Balcony), Palace and more.

STREET ART: The street art was nice here and I captured a couple pics walking alongside the river under the bridge.

CARNIVAL: We walked through a carnival and I got to see a bunch of rides. One ride awoke the 12 year old boy inside me, the ride is called the Auto Fhart. “Fhart” means ride or trip. I feel like I ruined the picture below by explaining logic of “Fhart,” please erase the last sentence from your mind and enjoy your ignorant Fhart bliss. Also I love the bear on this picture, he looks like he’s running through the meadow fahrting everywhere and wants to bear hug you and not let you go so you have to smell his bear Fharts. He’s a class act.

img_7796

The Carnival also had a “Wiener Pony Carousel” that had real ponies walking around. So somewhere in Austria their is a sad jobless creepy plastic carousel pony crying ceramic tears.

img_7792

OVERALL: Vienna is a beautiful and extremely organized city. And it’s always more beautiful through the eyes of a friend. Even if you have to crawl into their body to see it.

 

What is a Shelf Toilet?

While I was in Prague the apartment I stayed in had a shelf toilet. What is a shelf toilet you say? That is the same thing I was wondering as I looked at this odd invention that seemed quite disgusting even for my 12 year old childish mind. Well get ready for another education lesson from Pootee the Explorer.

The shelf is for examination. So when you poop your crap lays on the ceramic shelf so you can examine it. Very odd for an American. But in Germany this is common. This is for health reasons to combat intestinal disease, water-born parasites, worms, undercooked pork sausage, etc. Makes perfect sense in 1900 and absolutely no sense in current times. It’s a pain in the ass because I have to flush like 7 times to get a log cabin I created off the shelf.

Apparently when Germany occupied Prague they conquered some  of their toilets too. Here’s some of my poop for you to examine. I think I had Duck, cabbage, dumplings and red wine. This pic is wayyyyyyy down  below so you can avoid it or if you are daring or disgusting you can scroll down and check it out.

My

Poop

on

a

Shelf

is

below.

Don’t

worry

it’s

a

small

poop.

You

are

entering

the

danger

zone.

img_7962

DANKU PRAGUE

Danku means Thank you in Prague and I can’t pronounce it to save the life of me. (Also it was pointed out that I can’t spell it either as it is spelled “dekuji” and not “danku” as I’ve been imagining it this whole time.) But it’s cool, I can’t pronounce the English language either. Prague is a gorgeous and charming city. So far it’s been my favorite city to live in for a month. It’s not the hustle and bustle of a bigger city and it’s not to small either. There’s something comfortable here while it still has a slight edge.

CHARLES BRIDGE: Get ready to cross a bridge with about a hundred statues on it. King Charles was not messing around when he built his bridge. This thing is fancier than my fancy pants. There’s two points on the bridge where you are supposed to put your hand on the statue and make a wish. These are the brightest spots to touch as all the rest of the statues are blackish.

MEET AT THE HORSE: I was told by the locals that they often say to “Meet by the Horse.” Referring to this glorious horse with some dude riding on it. The horse doesn’t have a name so you can call it whatever you want. I call it Alice and it hates it which is why I continued to call that since it can’t attack me since it’s a statue. Some would call that a bit of a wussy move. But I don’t care because no one has ever said let’s meet at Patrick and I’m very jealous.

img_6826

SMILE LESS CZECHS: Czech people don’t smile very often. I don’t know why. I find it sad, so I started leg lunging across the city which only made my friends smile. The locals were weirded out and I continued as my friends laughed as I’d go near unexpected ladies and leg lunge. I was approached by a girl from Ukraine who wanted leg lunging lessons and then schooled the shit out of me. As she did a hand stand and twerked what her momma gave her. I’m a retired dancer so I had no shame in losing especially when I found out she was a “Dance Hall Queen.” Never heard of Dance Hall? Either had I until I got educated that night. It’s basically a freaking deaky dance from Jamaica.

img_7327

SHORT FILM #6: I did an experiment this month and asked people in Remote Year to submit film ideas in one paragraph. I had about 10 submissions and picked my favorite. However the two ideas I liked the most were very different, so I decided to do two short films this month. Apparently I’m a gluten for punishment. Heres pics from the two different shoots “Princess” and “Hippy Hollow.”

FOOD N DRINKS AND STUFF: Main meals for Czech is Meat (Duck, Pork or Beef), Cabbage and Dumplings. Dumplings are not what you expect. I’m expecting more Asian dumplings but the dumplings are more of a bread loaf made and then sliced as small pieces of bread. But they come in potato, bread, and other forms as dumplings. When they first came out I was like where are my damn dumplings? Then I realized we need to have a dumpling convention and have a fight for the right for the name of dumplings. Asian dumplings vs European dumplings, who will win? Check out the pics below to see a potato dumpling and bread dumpling.

Chimney Cakes (Trdelnik) are basically rolled cinnabon things. They roll some into an ice cream cone so you can devour ice cream out of it. Damn these things are good, this is why I’m fat. Kofola is a Czech soda that apparently was created to try and rival Coke. They lost but they ended up with a nice soda that has a light licorice taste.

Some other Czech foods are Sausages and a lot more sausages. I have never eaten so much sausage in my life, (Insert your childish joke here). Also Goulash but it’s not a soup here but more of a meat in a rich sauce. Honey cake for desert which is a light cake. And Hot dogs come in rolls that are burrowed out of to fit the hot dog and condiments. Also there is beautiful beers here that don’t need an introduction as gorgeous golden ladies.

OLD TOWN: This is where all the classic monuments are. The Astronomical clock that puts on a little show every hour. And an assortment of beautiful statues and churches. Get the sunset to join in and you got a beauty of place.

KAFKA HEAD: The Kafka head that turns like a rubix cube but only side to side. It was really interesting to watch.

img_7121

SIDE TRIPS: There are a bunch of opportunities for side trips from Prague. I jumped on a Train and visited Budapest and Vienna. I’m doing a blog post of Budapest and Vienna shortly.

LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN: Basically a group created for the old men in Remote Year. You have to be 35+ and have a penis. Extremely hard qualifications and I barely made it in because they were unsure about me since people always call me a pussy. Who knows, maybe I’m a Female spy? We went to a meat place and had amazing Steak Tartar since Czech is so well known for it. It was amazing.

HOMELESS: The homeless beg like I’ve never seen it before. Begging on their knees in shame or laying their whole body  on the floor. You feel for it as they make themselves so vulnerable.

img_7217

BABY TOWER: I lived next to the Baby Tower which is the Zizkov Tower. It’s a tower with Baby’s crawling up. It’s amazing. The elevator for there is you go inside a baby and it crawls you up to the top or at least that’s what I’ve made up.

Danku Prague. You were lovely. And Apparently I did a lot more here in a month than I realized after finishing this long blog post. Now on to Belgrade, Serbia for a month.