Budapest

Budapest is a city of contrast. Divided by the Danube River,Buda is the West Bank and Pest, the East. Originally begun as a Celtic Settlement, it has endured many historical, cultural,ethnic and religious upheavals to become one of Eastern Europe’s most beautiful and enduring cities,  and certainly one of its most interesting.

 

TOE
TOE

Where else can you buy $2.50 tickets to the Ballet Giselle at the Budapest Opera House?  of course the 22 year old daughter and I  had to enter via the back stairs, so the patrons in expensive seats could be seen making a grand entrance, via the front stairs! A night time ghost walk around the cobbled streets, revealed a bloody and gory past, buried beneath the grandeur and opulence, of old Budapest.

Taking a commuter ferry ride down the mighty Danube, revealed the olympic training school of the Hungarian rowing team, a mix of old and new high rise housing, and ended at a defunct shipbuilding yard, and abandoned, industrial estate.

A favourite memory was shopping at the local flea markets. Most had good quality goods, and were keenly priced. One, in a far flung suburb, revealed old folk art pattern rubber rollers, genuine nazi war badges,  vintage tin toys, and a jumble of retro clothing. It was cheap, musty, and housed some dilapidated merchandise, but was worth the complex trip out of town to get to it.

 

budpest
budapest

 

Other memories include, walking across the Liberty Bridge spanning the mighty Danube, using the funicular ( cliff railway) running up to Buda Castle, visiting the Budapest Art Museum, and feeling chagrin when the student daughter was invited to a private viewing of Warhol pieces. Watching the same daughter get her hair cut for her 22nd birthday. Me agreeing to a haircut by a non english speaking hairdresser, at the same salon. Drinking vast quantities of home made limonetta ( lemonade) for $3 a litre in local restaurants, and visiting Margaret island, to ride bikes, and eat ice cream and fairyfloss, as part of the birthday celebrations. Friday night saw us floating around the Rudas Baths, a thermal hot springs with magical restorative powers, needed for two world weary travellers, and trying to avoid gazing at the plump male, tattooed, ponytailed, patrons.

Ocelot Commandos

Ocelot a lot
Ocelot a lot
Swaggering down the airport forecourt came the three denizens of animal print couture .
Three mighty examples of large , round , forceful , Hungarian womanhood , strode strode toward me adorned in top to toe animal print , fake gold , black or tight denim .
They were a force to be reckoned with , this majestic trio , trailing gargantuan suitcases
in their wake .
They literally didn’t shut up , and their assault on the Wizz Air drinks trolley , only served to rejuvenate their well developed vocal cords.
I loosely termed them the ocelot triplets .
Life giver , saver , wrangler and tamer that I am , I could hardly be termed squeamish , but they scared the hell outta me .
I voyeuristically gazed on , totally enthralled , & trapped in their spell as they gabbled , burped , farted , and transported themselves from the Hungarian to Ottoman Empires.
Silence was banished from Budapest departure gate 3 , until Istanbul passport control , where they presented a tri edged assault on the quaking Turkish customs official.
Number one was dressed in gloriously distressed stretch denims , black and gold emblazoned skintight tshirt , gold lame jacket Liberace would,ve been proud to own , and the piece de resistance , a pair of black fake leather storm trooper boots , strapped with three trapdoor size fake gold buckles across each.

Number two had the black version of the jeans , black top with indecipherable Hungarian quip ,all in gold of course , and fake leather black biker jacket sporting gold and ocelot embellishments ,looking like a latter day Michael Jackson impersonator.

Number three , a woman mountain , clearly the leader of the pack , was bedecked in head to toe black , and 100 variations of animal print .
This lady was not to be messed with , and clasped an animal toned handbag big enough to house all of Central Europe , to her vast bosom .
Muffin topped, peroxided , blinged up , 50 plus ,
foundation encrusted , they sported enough black eyeliner to ring the entire Australian coast line .
Fluoro orange talons gripped the headrests of our seat upon arrival in Turkey , and jointly they uttered the only words of English I ever heard them say ” who dares wins ”

Case of found objects
Case of found objects