Budapest is a city crossed (and divided in two) by the Danube, and it is the capital of Hungary, a Catholic country former part of the Hapsburg Empire. Hungarians themselves are descendants of Turkic populations from Urals Mountains which invaded the Carpathian Basin around 862 AD, mixed with Khazars. They are not Huns. They may have some Gepidic blood, because Gepids are the ones who defeated Huns and erased them from historical existence after 454 AD.
The name comes from Buda and Pest, the two different cities, each one on the sides of the great river. It is praised as being very beautiful. It may be, but it’s not a city I’m going to see it again with a great pleasure. This post is not about the touristic beauty of the city, but of its day by day ugliness. You all know that every great city has its darkest face, as London isn’t just Belgravia, Westminster Abby or Trafalgar Square, or Paris is not just Avenue des Champs-Elysées, Montmartre or Faubourg St-Honoré. They have a hidden face you may see if you stay a little bit longer than an ordinary tourist.
Considering a city beautiful or ugly, depends on a lot of subjective factors. The 400 Blows’ Paris wasn’t beautiful at all, and that was not because the representation has been black & white. There are no colors to beautify the ugliness. For sample, Truffaut’s 400 Blows ugliness is about some people, about characters, which is sometimes the same in the beautiful city of Budapest. There is misery everywhere, more or less covered by the authorities, but the unfriendliness I met around, was quite a rare thing. Years ago, I used to consider the uncultured Turkish person as xenophobic, but here is a totally different thing, you see? Some Turkish people are xenophobic with their own neighbor countries because they have territorial disputes with all of them. Also they considered themselves bad treated by the Saudis, when they go to work there. I’m not talking about the erudite Turks, I’m referring to the ones taking their scarce education from television, as much as they could, completing their only three grades of schooling. But Turkish are wonderful hosts, and even when they cheat you, you feel really good treated. Not the same with the Hungarian hosts.
I have spent a few memorable days in Budapest with a group of mixed people. I think I was the only one speaking fluently other language than Romanian. That was not good at all, because I think that both Romanians and Hungarians are already hysterical on territorial issues. It is obvious that they have very good lobbyists, because Hungary became full EU member a few years before Romania, and the countries have been forced to be NATO allies before all that. There also are legends about the wonderful Hungarians, how nice and flirty they are, how good wine making mastery they possess, and what a bundle of other praised qualities they have.
I have searched for some “bad experiences” in Budapest, and I have been surprised to find quite a lot. At the time, I took it personal, considering just the before mentioned animosity between our two people on a low level, exacerbated by the media, as usual. Unfortunately the “adventures” I read about, can happen in a lot of other “civilized” metropolis, even in my beloved Istanbul, only I do not attract such experiences. I’m not interested in strip clubs or driven to obviously dubious places. I have had in the past some misadventures created by trusting more than is healthy, irresponsible people in my close entourage.
[source] – same as the above picture
When I have visited Budapest, Hungary was just a former East European country. The receptionists were rude, as were as the shop vendors, bartenders or police. They were never willing to help, and I think that the taxi drivers were the obnoxious scammers of all. All the employees love money but they don’t make anything to deserve them. If sometimes I liked the scenery, I can think now that I’m not going to die missing it, on the contrary, I’m better missing Mumbai with it’s burned trash in putrefaction specific scent, than the “beautiful” Budapest.
Disclaimer: The post reflects personal opinions, and it is not designed to offend the Turks or Hungarians. It has nothing to do with ethnic differences. It’s a post about a big city which can leave you with a bad taste in your mouth like a lot of other big cities. I have not been the victim of any scam in Budapest, I have just notice the employees aloofness toward people not speaking Hungarian language. If you learn it, you can avoid that.
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