We had a fantastic night out yesterday in Budapest. We started off at a small, somewhat divey bar near our apartment, where Hugo made friends with a man at the bar who introduced himself as “just your typical Hungarian drunk.” We watched him drop palinka (Hungarian brandy) shot after palinka shot into his increasingly light colored beer. Shortly thereafter, he fell flat on his face about five meters from us. The owner of the bar, a large thick man sitting on a stool in the corner keeping an eye on his young pretty bartenders, had assisted the drunk with the fall by giving him a swift push. The owner then helped him up and gave him some sort of stern talking to. The friendly drunk soon returned to our side, and solemnly apologized for his behavior. We decided that something strange was brewing, and quickly paid up and left.
After that bizarre skit, our next destination was completely fantastic. Don’t miss Szimpla Kert if you ever find yourself in Budapest. And I’m not just saying that because they were showing a great Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo slide show in one of the dozen or so rooms, including photos of Coyoacan, one of my favorite neighborhoods in Mexico City. Exploring the atmospheric, totally packed, and perfectly decorated building was just a lot of fun.
Our night ended memorably at our final stop, for spicy tacos next door at El Rapido. As we chatted happily with the girls running the counter about where to find tortillas and mezcal in Budapest, a couple people entered, chattering excitedly. Apparently, the Slovenian musicians who had headlined the Ljubljana festival at A38 (club on a boat in the Danube, another great nightspot), were on their way in. We were strongly encouraged by the girls to head downstairs to the bar and wait for them. I was soon shaking hands with a guy introducing himself, proudly, as John and smiling at me indulgently. Quite the rock star. Unfortunately, John, and his handlers, had neglected to exchange Euros for forints. So we spent our last 400 forints cash buying them Heineken. John gave us Euros in exchange, and the band quickly told us how rough they found Mexico City on their last tour through California and Mexico, before heading off to the corner booth.
Then we walked home!