Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I Do Give a Hoot


This all started when XPatLoop, the British owned ExPat Portal put this on Facebook. There was a link to the gallery of photos of the opening event, but I will not sink down to copying it here.

Hooters Budapest launch event can only be described as huge, as you can see in this new gallery
The first Hooters restaurant in Hungary celebrates its grand opening to the public today, 27 August 2012, a "VIP" opening event took place on Saturday 25 August.Alex Hemingway, CEO of Crown Restaurants and boss of the brand in Hungary, stated, "We are confident the unique Hooters experience will be ...
17 hours ago

It seems I was the first to comment, but other men followed my lead. Three people liked my comment. I deleted the names of the other posters for privacy reasons.
Ryan James: More of the worst of the US coming to a neighborhood near you.
        6 hours ago · Like · 3
Male 1: you could even say that Hooters does well in the US where most of the women are obese and lard asses. Here in Budapest where there are pretty girls everywhere it will not be so easy.
        5 hours ago · Like · 1
Male 2: Ahh, come on. It's all good fun with some cheeky on the side. Was there last night and it was great not to mention being a delightfully tacky yet unrefined daisy duke with a serving tray Americana evening. This import is what this city need...See More
        4 hours ago · Like 
Male 1: fine but many American franchises dont work here. I remember Wendys, Dunkin Donuts, Remax, Dairy Queen and many more have tried and failed.
        4 hours ago · Like
Ryan James Yes, let's exploit women for cheeky fun. How about a jock strap bar for the women with the men hanging out their goods? That would certainly be entertaining for the hen parties.
        3 hours ago · Like 
Male 1: Ryan, people vote with their feet. I can imagine it will do well with guys who cannot get pretty girls and have to pay to talk to them. Sounds like it is not intended for the locals but for visitors, bit like the Hard Rock Cafe in Vaci utca. rarely do Americans understand Europe, this sounds to me like a real example.
        3 hours ago · Like
Male 3: The world has gone mad, everybody has become so PC it is painful. Oh yes, the beauty of a woman's body when combined with perfectly fried onion rings and a cold beer is despicable to say the least... sounds terrible! If Hooters is exploitat...See More
        2 hours ago · Like 
Male 1: so 'J', sounds like you should just go to other clubs in Budapest and take out the middleman !!!
        2 hours ago · Like
Male 3: 'M', the business will fly or fail based on the footfall, we will see, I think Hooters is the least of our current problems in Hungary! At least it has given jobs to a few people... About Americans understanding Europe or anywhere else for...See More
        2 hours ago · Like
Male 1: Yep, you understand my point fully....in America you can believe in tiny ninja warriors who hide in vaginas and lie in wait for bad people's sperm. (Bill Maher) and Todd Akin is a creationist (believes in Adam and Eve) and even sits on the Science Committee in Congress.....you have to hand it to the Americans they are one sandwich short of a picnic
        2 hours ago · Like · 1

I don't think that any of these men would be proud to bring their family and friends in to Hooter's if their daughter or niece were working there as a waitress.

What I find truly disappointing is that no women weighed in on the issue.
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Monday, August 27, 2012

My Bags Are Packed and I Am Ready to Go


In Concert (Peter, Paul and Mary album)
In Concert (Peter, Paul and Mary album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Lyrics for Leaving On A Jet Plane
All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go
I'm standing here outside your door
I hate to wake you up to say goodbye
But the dawn is breakin', it's early morn
The taxi's waiting, he's blowin' his horn

Already I'm so lonesome I could cry.

Our new tenants, a Fulbrighter and her husband arrived today from the US. They will be living here for 9 months. Just before the doorbell rang, the taxi driver called my mobile. Though he did not speak English, the idea that I garnered was "Call an ambulance, I think I am having a heart attack from lifting luggage."

When the buzzed the intercom, Ron asked if they needed assistance. When they said yes, we didn't realize they needed a construction sized elevator. 
Through many e-mails, these are the things that they narrowed it down to, but I and others had convinced them to lease some things behind. They almost need a second apartment just for this stuff and storing their suitcases. This picture just doesn't do it justice. I wanted to properly arrange everything to show the true size and quantity, but hey, you can only go so far before embarrassment really kicks in. 

Americans continually make me chuckle. When Ron and I left the US for what we thought was going to be a year of travel, we had one large suitcase each and a backpack.When you decide to 'pack up your apartment', you really need to reconsider the meaning of the phrase.

By the way, this is being posted with their permission. They are good sports. We will be subitting it to Ripley's Believe It or Not also.
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Friday, August 24, 2012

Harriet Faulks Comments


Harriet Faulks has left a new comment on your post "Don't Bank on It":

Uh-oh! Things quickly got lost in non-translation, eh? I’m rather surprised that a bank could have ATMs that don’t offer two languages. It’s a good thing you eventually found a way around your problems and was able to get everything done for Jeff, even if it did take you quite a while. It’s a shame you ended up not using OTP; any dollar that can be saved is always a worthy investment.

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You Are Personally Invited


Our website has tons of information, but it seemed that no one was bothering to look at it. Quite frankly, when we had guests, we would even forget what was there and searched for the information all over again. 

I thought one solution would be to print out the site map of our site, so that people could scan it before asking, not that we mind the questions, but it is difficult being an walking encyclopedia. With these things in mind as well as to aid others we may never meet, I created a new blog.

It is called The BudaBaB Review. The format is quite different from this blog, so the very first thing is a START here with a brief tutorial. I would love for you to check it out. Bear in mind, this is a time consuming process and it is far from finished, so if you are interested, return often. Chances are there will be something different to entertain you.

You can find it here.

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

What is Hungarian Now?


This special exhibit was reported on XPatLoop.com, one of the portals to keep up with English news events in Budapest and sometimes beyond.

You can read the lengthy, but interesting description here. This seems really worthy of visiting before it ends on October 14th.

Venue: Műcsarnok
Address: XIV Budapest, Dózsa György u. 37.

If you don't know the city, this is the beautiful building at Heroes Square on the right side as you are looking at the statues.

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Beer With Me While I Get Drunk


It is that time again, just after the Hungarian Folk Festival and soon before the annual wine fest, Castle Hill is ready to receive those with money to squander yet again. There was no need to dismantle the wooden booths, just as I suspected when we were at the Folk Festival. They will accommodate the Beer Festival.

This year the claim is that it will be bigger than the last with over 200 beer producers tapping our wallets while pulling their taps. Imported beers will be Bohemian, German, English, Belgian and Irish specialties.

In order to convince us this is really a culture event, there will be 40 concerts and 120 well-known foreign and Hungarian performers. The promo states we can enjoy the concerts of the likes of Paddy & The Rats for one. Based on the other names, it seems you will want to drink if not voluntarily, but out of necessity. It is doubtfully that few non-Hungarians will have heard of any of the entertainment, and the standup comic will also try to tickle your funny bone in Hungarian too.
Like last time, you will be required to "rent" your beer mug (0,4 L, cost 600 HUF), but it is refundable if you don't drop it after the 6th mugful. Pints of beer will be: 400, 500, or 900 HUF depending on the brand you choose.

Before you think you can get soaked for cheap, they soak you for an admission fee as follows.

Daily pass: 1999 HUF, includes one beer (for children under 18 years includes one soft drink)
Five-day pass: 6999 HUF, includes one beer (for children under 18 years includes one soft drink)
For children under 12 years admission is free.

Opening hours:

Wednesday, August 29 noon – 3am
Thursday, August 30 noon – 3am
Friday, August 31 10am– 3am
Saturday, September 1 10am – 3pm

Thank goodness there are no alcoholics in this country, allowing everyone to enjoy these festivals with a clear conscious.
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2012 Gastro Days


Here we are almost into September and we are just reading about the 2012 Gastro Days at the Great Market Hall or Vásárcsarnok. I do remember seeing some country banners across the market as I passed by once earlier in the year, but had no idea why it was there. The market is not anywhere my normal route of travel or need to be area, but had I known, I would have made a point of going. That said, let's see how often I make it to the remaining events.

If you are around the city, you can be gastronomically stimulated with these participating events. 

National Gastro Days Schedule:
6-8 September: Szekler days (I had to look this one up)
13-15 September: Czech days
20-22 September: Indian days
27-29 September: Indonesian days
9-11 October: Hungarian days
18-20 October: Polish days
25-27 October: French days
2-3 November: Laotian days
8-10 November: Mexican days
15-17 November: Japanese days
22-24 November: Chinese days
5-8 December: Finnish days
13-15 December: British days

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Watch Your P's and Poohs


A few days ago, one of the women from the building stopped us as we were leaving. She knew we do not speak Hungarian, so she did what we all do. She shouted at us very slowly. We all know the true wisdom of this. If someone does not speak your language, screaming at them in a dilatory manner, the meaning will reverberate against the walls, hit them in the head and the gist of the thoughts will become less than a London fog.

Between the few words we did know, our well practiced to the level of excellence in charades, and a tad of common sense, we were able to figure out we would not have water for a day. They were to replace some pipes. Smiles were shared by everyone involved and we all left each others company with facial expressions of mild perplexity. The word bubble over everyone's head was "Did the message get through to them?"

The next day, the same lady appeared at our door. She had a sheet of paper with beautiful English on it, telling us for certain what we had surmised. Today, please do not use any water between 8:30 am and 5:30 pm. We are having the pipes replaced in the building. 

Emergency stop
Emergency stop (Photo credit: tabula_electronica)
Thomas Crapper
Thomas Crapper (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
All well and good, but we have 3 lovely young women from The Netherlands. They were very understanding and promised compliance. Just to make sure and honestly for us as much as for them, I put a sign on everything that is related to H2O, including all of the water bottles in the fridge. I was thoughtful of all of the potential P's and Poohs, not to be confused with a yellow bear. This required that I devise a plan that would stave off dehydration while planning ahead for an emergency stop off place. For the first time ever, I am thankful for the small shopping center at Blaha Lujza. There is a clean well-maintained bathroom in the basement. 

Yes, Virginia, there really is a Crapper. Let it be known that praises go to Thomas Crapper, who is erroneously credited with inventing the first toilet, but hey Sir John Harrington is not nearly as funny a name. I give thank to Joseph Gayetty too. If you cannot guess what he invented, you can find it here.
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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Don't Eat Here - Roosevelt Self- Service


I was walking by this restaurant at 9:30 am on a Tuesday. Food was already set out, not covered in any way, yet the restaurant doesn't open until 11am. I would not eat here on a bet. I don't care if the table is refrigerated or not, the food at the top is not getting cold enough to ward off bacteria. Some of the salads have mayonnaise in them too. If you want to try your luck, they are at V. Kossuth Lajos utca 7.

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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Fair Skies With Sun That Wears You Out


Bobbin lace in progress at the Musée des Ursul...
Bobbin lace in progress at the Musée des Ursulines de Québec (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
August is almost always a hot month, so why do they choose now to have the Arts and Folk Fair on Castle Hill. One would think it would be cooler there, but not so. This Saturday, we went with some neighbors, English speakers who bought an apartment in the next building over. It was hot, hot, hot, and it went on forever. 

I have to say there were crafts there that I have not seen here before like bobbin lace. I have witnessed many using this technique, just not at a fair here in Hungary. There were also embroidered pieces in colors that I really loved, very different from the standard pinks, reds, and bright colors. 

You have to hand to those performing who are dressed in heavy ornate costumes, running around all day in layer upon layer, upon layer. At least I think they are performers. 

The heat got to all of us for sure. This was probably the most photographed man at the fair.
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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Face It - You Have Been Deleted


CNN reports 83 million Facebook accounts are fakes and dupes.8.7% of its 955 million active users. That was the title, but if they active users, why axe them? Apparently Pussy LaRue and all of the other humanoid named pets have a following otherwise they wouldn't post such catty remarks or howl about the antics of others. One in 10 pets in the UK alone have a Facebook page. Bow-wow to those.

This must be in response to advertisers wanting to know who they really are reaching out to. 

If your Fido or Kitty has created his or her own FB account, without your knowledge, you had better be prepared for some ruff times when they discover all of their posts have wound up in the litter pan.

The irony is that Mark Zuckerberg has a page for his dog, Beast. You can view it here, but I have to say, Mark has excellent taste in dogs. Beast is a puli, a Hungarian breed.
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The Get Mitt to Split Kit - Hit the Grit


As I have said before, a gay Republican is an oxymoron. How any gay person with any common sense could vote Republican is out of my realm of perception. They call their organization the Log Cabin Republicans, which references Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican President of the United States. He was born in a log cabin. 

It could be worse; there could be the Manger Republicans or the Born in a Stable Republicans.

To fill in the form, click here.

This form and the website was

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Erma Bomeck Travels in My Memories


Erma Bombeck
Erma Bombeck (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There was an American humorist, Erma Bombeck, who had a syndicated newspaper column. She was hysterically funny most of the time. She had written a number of books, but  being an avid traveler my favorite was When You Look Like Your Passport Photo, It's Time to Go Home. A title that really came home to roost yesterday. 

Our passports don't expire until May 2013. I love our passports. Pasted inside are the Visas for Vietnam, Cambodia, Zimbabwe, and dozens of stamps from countries that still stamp your passport when you enter and exit: Australia, New Zealand, Namibia, Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania other many other joyous travel mementos. 

The problem is that we will be going to Ecuador in December and will be there through the first two weeks of January. Ecuador requires that your passport be current for 6 months beyond the time you intend to leave. Even if we still have months left on our passports, we have to renew it for this trip. When you get a new US passport, they stamp the old one with holes, which really mars the stamps and Visas, plus you don't get to reminisce each time you pull it out for the next adventure.

I went to the photo shop to get my new photos taken, which was recommended by the embassy. They require that the photos are no older than 6 months with strict size requirements and so forth. Earlier today, our friend Melissa Rank had sent this photo she had taken when we met with her family for our last coffee before they head off to Turkey to live. I hate my photo taken, but this turned out fairly well, so I was a bit encouraged for the passport photo.This is what is called a false sense of security. 

This is what the passport photo looks like. OMG, if I didn't know better, I would swear these were two different people and the 2nd one should have never made parole. After the photographer shot the photo and had it on the computer, he asked if it was okay. I asked if he were handy with Photoshop, but he looked at me blankly. When I said it was as good as it was going to get without plastic surgery, he did break into a smile. To add insult to injury, the US is going to charge me $110 for the passport with this mug in it.

I took Erma Bombeck's advice though. I went right home..crawled under the covers with my Galaxy Tablet and priced plastic surgeons.
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