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The People of Budapest Were Not Nice

I did not have a good time today in Budapest. The weather was perfect, and the architecture was inspiring, but the people we dealt with were mean and they cheated us.

Let’s start with the cheating. I am actually quite generous while traveling. I typically round up and give a little tip, even in countries where no gratuity is expected or required. But I want it to be my choice, and it is usually merit-based. The people that I dealt with today in Budapest really didn’t like that way, so they helped themselves to a little cut here and there. We actually got cheated out of quite a bit of money today. Two train employees helped themselves to a bit of a “tip” on top of the price of the fare listed on the ticket, but the worst was the cab driver… who really cheated us. Mostly, this was my fault. I don’t do math quickly or well, and I was really messed up by the currency conversion. And with taking care of my mother, it is really difficult for me to handle all the stress of everything coming to a head at the same time (like in a cab situation.)

Ok, now onto the mean attitudes. I got yelled at today by several obnoxious Hungarians peasants on little power trips. We were at a museum and I asked for the toilet. Usually, I scout the situation ahead of my mother to find out where everything is so that she doesn’t have to do unnecessary climbing and such. I found the toilet downstairs, used it myself, then found the elevator. I came up the elevator, gathered my mom and guided her to the elevator. At which point, a woman working at the museum proceeded to kvetch at me in a stern, gruff voice. I made all of the body gestures associated with appealing to a powerful person for mercy, to no avail. She called in 2 other people for backup and made it very clear that she only allows people in wheelchairs to use the lift. At this point, I openly disagreed with her and motioned to my mom to take the elevator down & that I’d meet her after taking the stairs. So I did. And the gang of three harpies retaliated by locking the lift… essentially making it so that we couldn’t get up any other way but the stairs. Luckily for us, there was another old male American man who overheard our situation and decided to take up our cause. He fought with them for a good 10 minutes, and may have gotten some police involved. Eventually, they opened the lift and escorted her on it — but the power-trippers were fuming the whole way.

That wasn’t the only situation of people being rude and disagreeable today… just the most dramatic. By the time our short tour was over, I was happy to leave the country. A little worse for the wear… but now I can say that I’ve been to Budapest. And it may be a good long time before I feel the need to return. You win some, ya’ lose some when it comes to traveling.

Here’s the link to my Budapest photo gallery on smugmug.

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