Budapest

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“Ah, Bucharest!”
~ Oscar Wilde on Budapest

Budapest also known as Bucharest is the capital city of Hungary (former Austria & Germany & Turkey & Romania) and the country's principal political, industrial, commercial, logistic and prostitution hub. It has more than 1.7 million inhabitants although official figures are disputed to be skewed by the uncounted gypsies who live in the city as a parasitic drain on the real resources of the city, frequently, the chances of hopeful mayors of the city tend to hinge on how harshly they promise to deal with this percieved Gypsy problem.

The City itself is known for its classical and gothic architecture and fine cuisine. Buildings such as Keleti Palyaudvar (Eastern Railway station) are excellent examples of such architecture and tourists frequently visited Budapest to experience this architechture for themselves; and particularly to experience the 1000 square meter wing that has been infested by varying cultures of mould and microbes, although in recent years the state have been forced to close this particular tourist wonder due to EU regulations[1] that restrict access to infectious buildings. Some right-wing irredent Budapestians claim that the real "Greater Budapest" consists of more territories (such as Gödöllö and Rákosborzasztó which are accessible by HÉV).

History

Budapest was not originally the capital of Hungary and during the Austro-Hungarian empire, the executive operated from what is now Bratislava in Slovakia, however, due to successive world wars and a particularly poor intuition for choosing the correct side to fight on, Hungary lost much of its territory, forcing it to withdraw inwards and hence use Budapest as its main city, many Hungarians believe that Pozsony (Bratislava) should be returned to the control of Hungary although without it being restored as Hungary's capital, an envoy of the Hungarian President was recently sent to Bratislava in an attempt to retake the city but was unfortunately defeated at the border by 5 Slovak policemen and 2 cars [2] As a result, relations between Slovakia and Hungary have deteriorated markedly, However, Hungary has expressed that it would welcome nationalist and anti-Hungarian Slovak politician Jan Slotá into Hungary with open arms and a loaded pistol.

The name of the City is a marriage of the words Buda and Pest with Buda being on the west side of the Danube river and Pest being the east side; this was created when Count Istvan Szechenyi decided it would be a good idea to build a bridge between the two places to help facilitate trade and sexual intercourse between the wealthy inhabitants of Buda and the simplistic proles of Pest. Unfortunately, not long after this merger of the two cities, Szechenyi succumbed to a scorching case of herpes and decided it would be better to end his life than suffer the affliction. Sándor Petőfi declared him to be the "Greatest of the Magyars" - unfortunately this pissed the Russians off and they found and killed Petőfi.

Despite much turmoil, including sustained damage suffered at the hands of the Soviet tanks, the city is still thriving today and even boasts its own Ikea store on the outskirts of the city in Örs Vezer tére which thus enables citizens to purchase an affordable bed without needing to travel far to acquire the services of a prostitute to fuck on the newly purchased Swedish-designed chinese-made item.

Districts of Budapest

There are 23 districts of Budapest and each one has its own local government or more appropriately, council.

These councils essentially operate on a feudal basis with each district council competing to expel its inhabitants out to other districts through the implementation of increasingly restrictive and disliked ordinances such as setting limits on the sale of alcohol, encouraging Gypsies to take advantage of the social housing and disgustingly overt misappropriation of public funds into the pockets of civil workers.

The only exception to this rule is the councils of the Buda side of the city who essentially collude together to further worsen the feudal in-fighting that occurs on the Pest side although they staunchly deny this, nonetheless, an internal notice has been circulating instructing all individuals including police to stay away from Keleti Palyaudvar after dark.

The permanent-yet-democratically-elected Mayor of the city is Gábor Demszky who has been in power since 1990 when the first democratic election of a mayor was held after the collapse of the Warsaw pact and the Soviet Union - a copy of the ballot given to citizens at the time of this election gave voters the choice between voting for Gábor Demszky or Demszky Gábor. In recent years, many voters have taken to voting for Gábor Demszky over Demszky Gábor whilst others have taken to defacing their ballot with "Baszd Még" which has been taken by some to show signs of political unrest.

Transport

Airport

The last couple of years have seen a massive improvement at Budapest Airport (BUD). On the 25 March 2011, it was renamed to Budapest Liszt Ferenc International Airport to further confuse foreign travelers who are still frequently asking for Bucharest Ferihegy International Airport (in English literally Frankie-Mountain International Airport).

After Malev (the principal airline of Hungary) ceased all flights, Terminal 1 was temporally closed causing even further frustration to all the moronic stag partiers who used to arrive on cheap flights and were usually looking for cheap alcohol and sex. As a consequence, these detestable individuals now arrive on T2 and end up entering one of Budapest's numerous corrupt strip clubs where they are billed 300,000 Forints (€1000) for a couple of beers and subsequently marched to the nearest ATM by two large men in black shirts armed with monkey wrenches.

In addition, Terminal 2 services the more upper-class foreigners who are equally loathed for their refusal to even learn the merest Hungarian pleasantries and are considered fair game for price-gouging at almost every opportunity possible, examples of this are commonly seen on Váci utca (in English: "Tourist-trap street") where a tourist will pay 1000 Forints for a beer and think they are getting a good deal - this applies especially to the Swedish.

Subway

The Budapest Metro is one of the oldest Subway systems in the world and is run by BKV Zrt - the company that is responsible for all public transport in the city as well as its main duty of laundering money into bank accounts of members of the actual government.

Despite this fact, it is also one of the smallest in the world, consisting 3.85 lines, one of which is not completed and is not likely to be completed within the next century, nonetheless, many parts of this fourth line are kept open to facilitate suicides and a yearly contest is held to see who can manage the most excruciating suicide jump with the winner being declared the "Greatest Magyar" although in recent years many competitants were post-humously disqualified after a drugs test on the corpses revealed traces of heroin.

As for the other 3 working Metro systems, passengers are required to have a ticket or pass in order to ride, people with a ticket are expected to insert their ticket into the validation machine, state their name, enter a pincode and recite the Hungarian Himnusz after which the machine will validate their ticket and permit them to ride. Any patrolling Ticket Inspectors who catch a tourist with an unvalidated or incorrectly validated ticket will be bullied into submission and forced to pay a 8000 Forint potdij (violation fine).

To assist with the payment of the Potdij, the BKV has taken to displaying large red stickers denoting this Potdij and anyone who sees this sign is immediately guilty of a violation and should promptly give themselves up to the nearest Jegyellenőr (ticket inspector) for a session of systematic bullying.

The metro itself is powered by a stock of Soviet Russian-built blue metro trains although this is not due to a lack of funds as the BKV recently purchased an entire new rolling stock but then discovered that the usage of the new rolling stock would drastically lower operating costs and hence result in a sharp reduction in repair fees paid to the companies owned by the executives of the BKV, this was naturally deemed utterly unacceptable and so the ancient Soviet trains remain in operation as ticket and pass prices are increased above inflation in order to maintain the Status Quo.

Bus

The bus system in Budapest is vast and expansive and is served by a fleet of Hungarian-built Ikarus buses that pre-date the fall of communism.

Frequently these buses are prone to breaking apart during usage, fortunately, travellers are used to this occuring and hence prefer to travel on the outside of the bus or failing that, as close to the driver as possible. Additionally, it is rare to see a Hungarian travelling seated for just this reason (unless they are mildly suicidal - not unheard of as suicide is a popular national past-time) as it could become necessary to make a swift escape at any point, either due to the failure of the bus's structural integrity or the boarding of a group of individuals dressed like Stasi (Ticket Inspectors) or alernatively, to furiously slam on the bus driver's door due to completely failing to stop at your bus stop despite the fact you signalled well in time - at this point, luckier individuals will be able to alight at the next stop, although if the bus driver has omitted to lock his compartment door, opening it and smacking him in the head with your fists is permissable.

Nonetheless, many people successfully ride the bus system in Budapest without the hassle of purchasing a ticket or pass and indeed, it is essentially impossible to purchase a ticket for the bus system as almost all stops do not have a ticket machine and those that do are simply there as post-modern art installations which are in fact hollow boxes rather than working ticket machines - the name for this art installation is known as "the futility of man".

For the benefit of tourists, many buses are fitted with matrix displays and occasionally automated voice announcements which inform you of the current and next stop, however, the fatal flaw with this particular system is that it relies on the bus driver pressing a button to update the display/announcer which generally does not happen since the Bus drivers frequently do not give a flying fuck - However, it is not recommended to make any sort of vocal complaint to the bus driver regarding this matter as it is highly likely they will stop the bus, light up a cigarette and inform the carriage that they have decided to end work early for the day[3]

Tram

The Budapest Tram system, also known as the Budapest Overground Metro is almost as extensive as the bus system but considerably more stable oweing to the fact that the trams operate only on fixed tracks, although despite this, tram operators are known to frequently attack drivers of vehicles that dare to block the path of their tram, this applies doubly to any civil services such as the ambulance or police as a recent incident demonstrated when an ambulance that was called on an emergency unfortunately blocked the path of a tram resulting in the driver leaving the tram to attack the paramedics which then resulted in a second ambulance being called to treat those from the first ambulance.

The main tram line is routes 4 and 6 which are almost identical and served by a modern stock of modified Siemens Combino Supra vehicles which are in fact the longest tram in the world and resultantly, completely unsuitable for use on any tram network in any other country, therefore making them completely unsaleable and hence likely to be in service well into the next millennium.

The Tram is also a favourite method of suicide for Hungarians oweing to the fact that a tram driver is unlikely to stop the tram if you cross it's path as well as the fact that once you have been struck, if for any reason your writhing body is in the way, the tram driver will have no qualms in kicking your broken body out of the way although there is no guarantee of a swift death, you can at least be assured of being left to bleed out as the tram operator proceeds on with his mission of reaching the end station as fast as humanly possible and with utter disregard for the recommended operating speeds of the tram.

Helpful hints for tourists in Budapest

Language and culture

The Hungarian people are immensely proud of their country, culture and history, this is demonstrated by their popular displays of maps of old Hungary and the phrase "Vesszen trianon!" (lose trianon). Additionally, one can occasionally witness Magyars in their traditional dress consisting of jackboots, brownshirts and large red and white striped flags with an arrow cross in the center; people of Jewish descent are especially welcome at these gatherings, although in recent years the government has been keen to downplay and restrict these gatherings oweing to an unexplainable speight of anti-nationalism.

Hungarian is an immensely easy language to learn and therefore, it is in fact preferable to address Hungarians in Russian if they do not know English as many of them are still highly fluent in the language from the days of Soviet rule and a good place to brush up on your Russian is Moszkva Tér (Moscow square) on the Buda side of the city where you may also get the opportunity to learn the Soviet National Anthem.

A famous point in Hungarian history is the revolution of 1956 that was crushed by Soviet forces; this revolution was later described as the "collective suicide of a nation" and was instrumental in defining suicide as the most popular past-time of the nation although since converting to a Market Economy, Hungary has begun to express a preference for financial suicide over actual suicide, Economists and Psychologists are currently unsure whether there will be any change in this trend although initial figures from the IMF are promising.

Hungary also has a thriving gypsy community thanks to the numerous benefits offered to them by the Hungarian social care system as well as their own excellent skills that have been used to great effect to make significant transfers of wealth from the native Hungarians to themselves, primarily through the systematic appropriation of the property of the native Hungarians which has also been a major boost for the security business and many hungarians are opting to purchase padlocks, bikelocks, combination safes and other similar devices in an attempt to prevent further transfers of wealth.

Food and Drink

Hungary has a wide range of cuisines which are high in quality and exclusivity, including popular dishes such as Gyíkhús burgers, Gyros and Szaros palacsinta

The food is interesting and varied, traditional meals are to be found at nearly any sidewalk café. A few things to be aware of regarding the liquid refreshments, however. There is a traditional Hungarian drink made from fruit juice, known as Palinka. This is flavorful refreshment, quite enjoyable. They serve it in small glasses, so it is common to have each of the perhaps 6 or 8 varieties of Palinka that are available to sample, without getting filled up. Of course, if you find one that you like, you can order the entire bottle, but it is traditional and expected that you order an assortment.

Tourists guide to transportation

Public transport in Budapest is puzzling at first, but here are a few hints to help you understand it better. The best way to get around the inner-ring of the city is, of course, Metro 4 (green line). The locals may try to discourage you from using it, but do not be fooled, it is the easiest way to get from place to place in inner Budapest.

In some of the subway stations, the transit authority has stationed Money Changers. They can help you with tickets, or if you need coins from bills, and so on. To add interest and culture, some of them have been issued musical instruments, or assigned to sing or dance to entertain the travelers; if you just need change it is usual to help yourself from the container in front of them. Also note that this is similar to the spare-change cups at some American cashiers; if you are a few coins short for a purchase, help yourself, but of course please don’t abuse this.

The Hungarian government also provides a visitor-only taxi service, as a way of stimulating tourism and encouraging visitors. These cars are marked “Rendörség” and the drivers will take you anywhere within the Budapest metropolitan area, on request. Remember to use the friendly greeting (BazdMeg!) as above, hand them your passport, get in (back seat only please, it’s traditional), and tell them where you want to go. Some of the drivers enjoy having a bit of fun with tourists, pretending not to understand and so on; play along, it is part of the game.

Don't miss these sights

The US Embassy is not far from the Parliament building (the large building on the top of Castle Hill, with the green dome). It is picturesque, and the tour guides outside will be happy to take your picture in front of this beautiful building. The guided tour takes about an hour, but is well worth the time.

Parliament is another enjoyable tour. The guides are friendly, and there are signs in English clearly showing you where to get tickets, and so on. There is no need to pre-arrange a tour; they welcome visitors warmly. Be sure while you are there, to ask your tour guides to use the Parliamentary bathrooms; they are stunningly beautiful, and the guide will be impressed with your knowledge of the things to see.

If you fancy a quick walk, Gellért Hill (on the Buda side of the river, between Chain bridge and Freedom bridge) is a relaxing stroll. You’ll often see retired people on the paths, as it is an easy walk through a picturesque park.

Shopping bargains can be had at the Vaci Utca, which is a pedestrian-only street on the Pest side of the river, near Chain Bridge. It is a bit out of the way, but worth the trouble. The prices are good, the locals are friendly, and happy to see the occasional tourist who ventures into this area which is usually only seen by locals. Music and entertainment can easily be enjoyed here; don’t be surprised if you are asked to come in to have a drink by a friendly proprietor.

The underground shopping mall beneath the West End (Nyugati) train station is a marvel to see, especially at night. Bring your camera. And your valueables. We're waiting.

Summary

These are only a few of the things that you can find to enjoy in Budapest, but remember your friendly greetings, and have fun. Bazd Meg!

References

  1. http://www.realdeal.hu/20100212/budapests-fungusinfested-main-railway-station-molders-as-renovation-budget-dries-out
  2. http://www.france24.com/en/20090821-president-slovakia-hungary-solyom-soviet-invasion-war-anniversary-eu
  3. http://www.pestiside.hu/20090924/bkv-bus-drivers-have-feelings-too/


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