Oh Budapest…


Budapest is a lovely city, but as every city, it has its little things that can drive an average expat crazy.

  • The sun goes down too soon, just way too soon and it’s not just a matter of the season – I believe that we’re actually in the wrong time zone. I mean, it really doesn’t make much sense for Budapest to be in the same time zone as Paris, all it takes is a look at the map. We’re so much closer to Romania, but I guess their time zone wouldn’t be centrally european enough for Hungary, would it?
  • People don’t move in this city. One of the most frustrating things in this city is getting through the metro system, not only during rush hours. People do not move or stand on one side of the escalators – they all just seem to semi-willingly subscribe to what spot fate gives them as they get on the escalators. All you can do is stand there like a sardine and wait until it’s your turn to wait for the train – yes, wait – since the one you could have made if you walked down the escalators – is long gone. Am I just impatient? Maybe, but I just can’t think why people would want to spend any extra time on the public transport.
  • People smoke almost everywhere. Some places are better, some worse, but there are virtually no non-smoking places in the cafe/restaurant range I like. As I’m sitting here, writing this post, the man sitting about a meter from me is smoking his fifth or sixth cigarette in the last hour. Results? No matter if you like it or not, you breathe with it, you smell like it, your head hurts by the time you get your drink.
  • I don’t know what the noise pollution regulations are here, but whatever they are, they are not in place. The city if full of construction, which means not just noise, but dust and scaffoldings wherever you look. Good for the city, but not so much fun for the residents. Every morning I wake up to some noise – whether it’s the trash being taken out or a wall being knocked down 3 floors down – it’s got to be something. Sometimes this starts as early as 5 am in the morning. Who comes to work that early and then cannot keep himself from making all the noise until at least 8am, I fail to understand. This is not just my block – I’ve heard it all before from friends who are lucky to live in old beauties of Budapest.

All in all, Budapest is great – just not perfect this time of the year, I suppose.

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1 Response to “Oh Budapest…”


  1. 1 mark November 30, 2006 at 8:57 pm

    Very nicely observed. I look forward to your take on NYC, NJ and Houston. Let it flow.


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