Tag Archives: Budapest

Margit’s Bridge

The erratic heartbeat of the city

As rubber padded thunk moves level

Carhorns join in melody

The rush hour music playing strong.

The hum, the purr, the growl of engines

Darkness descended, the beast’s upended

To prowl in search of life outside

The daily click clack,

The daily grind.

And on in bursts of ebb and flow

Below the Danube creeps past slow

A moon appears to offer light

But not tonight… Not tonight.

Illuminating city streets

Arising from the shadows creep

There is no need for stars tonight,

Fluorescence is the guiding light.

And deeper, darker, into the hollow

Blending with the nighttime cheer

The beast appears to disappear

Appearing once again tomorrow.

© The Hairy Teacher, December 2006, (revised May 31st, 2020)

Most, But not the most

Most, But not the most

A habit building is the habit to check the menu before ordering anything. With a 10% service charge added, there’s no need for a borravaló, And so there won’t be.

Sometimes I’d consider adding a little extra but not this time. The service is satisfactory but the attitude is less appealing. A slow pint, it seems, is not acceptable. A light lunch is also questioned though that could be forgiveable seeing as with a Menu of the Day on offer, most people would jump at the opportunity. Me too if only it wasn’t all a little confusing, the menu itself that is. Set in a trendy newspaper style it fails to deliver. Too many pokey points.
However, it’s when I’m approached for the third time and asked if I’d like another beer, still a sizeable slug remaining, that I feel a bit put off. The place is nearly empty, except for me, and friends of the staff, or the owners themselves. Who knows.
The prices are also above acceptable especially for what you get. Over one thousand forints for a soup requires something more than nachos sprinkled on what could only be described as Nacho dip.
And then the beer at 890ft. Most, itt vagyok, Most-ban, and this is more than the most I’d like to pay for a snack. My other haunts torment me now, forlorn spectres adrift on the plateau of lost opportunities.

© The Hairy Teacher, May, 2018

This Side

This Side

The scaffolding still stands across the way
And under it other parties now do pass
In the shadow of that tunnel hidden memories
Some borne of repetition some of joy.
Each step a step closer to one’s abode
But- now- the turning wheel dictates the road
Will it be in hindsight our adventure or
In leaving it the spelling of our certain Doom.
The passing faces the road much trodden
The life the thoughts the everything
And in so passing us we too were passing
And are still from this side of the road.

© The Hairy Teacher, March, 2018

Something fishy ’bout this

Halkakas
Quick eat to café atmosphere
The place offers promise from without, a café style interior on entering, and fish on the menu. Tucked snugly on a corner along Veres Pálné utca one could almost pass by but and just by chance I was steered there on tripping out the stationery shop door on the opposite side of the street. As I had been lurking the district for some grub and yet was sure a street food burger would just spiritually rape me, the promise of fish spelt miraculous.
So picking a seat and forcing myself to be accepted as legit to the many eyes that looked up from their array of soups and other such dishes, I grabbed myself a menu and started to pave my glory.
Good selection of different fish dishes
First off the selection of fish dishes was impressive and while I worked my way through the Hungarian double taking on the “halburger” questioning its spelling, I was intrigued to find fish and chips tucked away in among the rest on offer and not a stand out, stand alone as if to play the signature dish!
I finally settled on the misspelt ‘hal’burger hoping that in fact it wasn’t a type-o and why should it be, it was a fish joint and not a burger of beef gaff. Still to be satiated in times of fussiness can lead to disaster so I grabbed myself a Foti Pils* to sip on while bracing myself for what was to come.
A fish burger I ordered and a fish burger I got, most flavorful, most delicious. The juices that flowed didn’t sog the burger buns but did leave me wishing to mop it up off the plate. Still being as full as I was that might have been unadvisable. The chips accompanying it were pre-salted and while this usually yields a common quib of mine this time I had no complaints. The potatoes were cut well and were proportionately tasty, something I never say!

*Fóti Sörfőzde

Prices match quality and in down town
What often gets my goat is the nonsense pricing that comes with difference and/or quality and whereas 2000huf may not be cheap in some people’s books, for what I ate and where I ate it, downtown, I would say it was on the balance a great deal. That I didn’t even need to eat again to any degree for the rest of the day (I ate here at around noon) is testimony to the depth of this good feed. Other fast food places may claim half the price but most have none of the quality, you can be damned sure.
The Others
As I was there I noticed a regular flow of what I’d describe as the young business folk lunching from small offices around so it never feels like brokersville, but from a business point of view very sustainable.
Friendly helpful patient staff
It’s counter service so tracking a menu was a flamboyant affair, me being flustered by the street and a clock that was running, but sitting and acquiring said menu, skipping past the temptation of ye olde fish N’s chips, jumping to the counter to order, doubling back twice, once for my wallet, another time for a peek at the beer menu, I never felt I, nor the girl serving were under any pressure. Her calm was infectious, perhaps. Could have used that when I was working in a bar. The guy who served up the plate, the chef or the cook, engaged professionally, being a busy man he still nodded acknowledgement, and listened without foothopping to my compliments as I was leaving.
Amen

© TheHairyTeacher2017

If I don’t look out

If I don’t look out now, out this window
And into the city
I’ll miss my chance and with it the night.
Orange and yellow lights sheen in across my page
They offer solace in the shadows run repetitive
And then they fail
As deep beneath all vision
The light offers no warmth
And in the vacant stuttering of the bus in wait with open doors
The engine ticking over
Taking time to let us go.
Instead it holds us to ransom
Along some distant shores…
For this is no longer Budapest
But is anywhere away from home.

Tiredness tempting
A blush presented.
Cheap Wine on tired mind
Lets fatigue run over gently
Into greater weariness
Which with time
Involves us in the whole charade
As sleep and dreams envelope

 

© TheHairyTeacher2016

Steampunk

Steampunk

Just recently I read an article about a little town in New Zealand which has become a Mecca for all Steampunk fans but it happened past my memory even after I’d flirted with sending the link to a Kiwi friend of mine (In circles he’s known rather as the Doc, or Doc Ock, but don’t ever call him Candy: Unless of course you’re a 6’8″ rugby player who looks like he eats nails for breakfast. Then you can say whatever you want).

Well, when you don’t believe in coincidences all you’re left with is destiny and here I am in Krak’NTown on József körút in downtown Budapest, itself a saloon dedicated to the whole Steampunk style. From the waiters to the walls it’s captured the general vibe and based upon some of the other guests it would seem like this place has the tourist draw based upon this very Steampunk premise. Little do we know till we explore.

PS: Beyond a modest selection of craft beers they also serve food and what I noticed as significant was that a vast majority of the food had an Isles incline with Cheddar cheese soup, Toad in a Hole for breakfast, Yorkshire pudding, black pudding, as well as the ever adventurous, Haggis! There is also an Irish red beer and stout, the latter I’d hoped for but the pipes were being cleaned. In the end I settled for an IPA and dealt with the Cheddar soup in company. A light lunch, a great experience.

 

©TheHairyTeacher2016

The pub

It might not be somewhere over the rainbow
But it is somewhere out there…
Hidden from view but not ear,
A band of friends, perhaps conspirators?
They laugh beyond the cheery tune on the radio.
In here…
In here in this other room, the desolate one, where the desperate sit perched at the bar or in the darker corners,
typing on phones, reading newspapers, or staring into the half distance, finding the floor sometimes a good repose…
In here heads turn expectantly but nothing ever happens, only the songs on the radio are any indication of a better world out there –
Wherein resides “Daddy Cool”.
Even as the door opens a mumble is all that’s heard…
The aging barmaid streaming out,
Perhaps this rat has jumped the ship
And yet the open door promises change

And then…
“Itt a Babus” and the chatter begins.
The barfly awakens, the barmaid questions, another familiar enters…
And then the door closes.
Who is the desperate one now?
Alone in the phone-screen glow.

A Day Is Rising

A Day Is Rising

 

In the morning light after dawn-glow purchase
The taste of chill as winter rises.
The dew residual dampens the ground
And sends sunshine sparkles a-dazzling round.
Footsteps plod and skip, all fall,
With weary minds and a child adventure.
The cursing klaxons, the red lights looming.
Urbania rising through the silence booming.
Lines of passengers all set to be
Like chaste and bridal tainted reverie.
The smiles, however, abstain- upended
As morning’s gloom quells caffeine pretensions.
Stray dogs and pigeons plot their day
In bays and coups, the best plans laid.
The beast in shuffle settles then
As noon day flow comes threatening.

Jukebox Junkie

 

For those of you familiar with Bogyó és Babóca you’ll be probably aware of the catchy theme tune which introduces the cheery pair of friends. For those of you unfamiliar, think of the many animation pairings, except perhaps for Pinky and the Brain, and you should be getting that sunshine, adventure, and existential angst feeling.
Well, Tara did her tour and now it’s Keela’s turn though I am not certain as to the extent of the appeal beyond the opening tune itself.
Awakening early morning Keela no longer cries out for her mother’s milk first thing. Instead, she bobs her head and rounds her lips, emitting a hum and doodle that is a mimicry of B & B themselves. That she also grabs for the books probably indicates an appeal in the feature too but a night time despair is more easily subdued by a rendering of the tune than by any graven image.
So what is it, I ask myself, that has made her latch onto Bogyó and Babóca so suddenly and so intensely? And then suddenly it hits me! With The Community, a comedy series I used to watch with my girlfriend, and with Keela present, there was also a noticeable reaction to the theme tune but what remains is the difference that B&B are also available to touch in book form on the floor. What then does this suggest? To any old fool the answer now dangles before the nose, but I’m not any old fool! I’m the worst kind:)
But Just in case you’re wondering:
A hint of animation on-screen
A dash of animation in books
And a catchy tune to boot!

But does this all explain Hello Kitty?
Well, some mysteries intend to remain unsolved…

 

 

The Hideaway

I’ve hidden in this place before, more exposed than truly hidden.
Revealed by an awkwardness, an intent, that didn’t fully flourish.
Now here unbound I can be myself, behind the music and the language,
Within the shadows and glow light, the half sense to write or just listen,
Till the pen balances thinking with drinking.
A crumpling of a coffee packet accompanying, as the music spills on into jazz, into life,
And the wonder at not understanding other people talk,
Takes nothing from the very fact that they are my company, and in theirs I revel in a notion of life, where my fantasies flourish.
I may be mistaken, even choosing to be so
And I allow the play its new act, my life a new scene, and the writer once more to reality.
(sound of pen dropping and beer slurping:))

Back to top