So , even though I knew for months I was going to Budapest I still left it until the day I was travelling to pick up some Hungarian forints while hungover!
I felt pretty rough walking around Bristol looking for foreign exchange shops, kicking myself for drinking the night before and making my day of travel unnecessarily challenging and stressful. I also had a rising anxiety about what Budapest would be like when feeling 'delicate'.
On the flight over I scoured through my travel guide, becoming familiar with some of the many sights and educating myself of the more common tourist traps, one of which is vica utca ( vee cha oot saaa ) , a popular tourist street where hot women will approach foreign men, entice them to a bar for a few drinks where said guy then gets hit by a huge bar bill.
I felt some reassurance to read that other than pick pockets and dodgy bar girls the city is considered really rather safe. But I still had no idea what the city so there was a rising excitement of what lay ahead.
So I spent 95% of the flight reading, as we got pilot confirmation we would be landing in 10 minutes I decided to start speaking to the girl next to me, indeed a Hungarian, to check how you say thankyou ( cursor-num ) in het naive tongue as I felt it important to know a couple pleasantries.
We had a nice little chat about Bristol, I was pleasntly surpised at how cheerful and friendly she actually was and how good here English was, made me feel a little shepish I was travelling to her country armed with one word in my head.
Landing -> Terminal bus -> Passport control -> airport entrance.
There in the airport entrance stood around 3 dozen taxi drivers with name placards, one of them was supposed to have my name on it.
I had booked a taxi via the hostel, travelling by taxi is not a cheap option but I knew I was arriving around midnight ( the chpeatest flight ) and online advice suggested late night transport isn't the greatest in Budapest.
Weaving through the crowd of placards I didn't see my name , 'I fucking knew it' I thought to myself, I had booked that taxi months ago so it was more than likely something had gone wrong with the booking.
I wandered outside the airport and surveyed the fleet of yellow cabs lined up ready to go. I had heard bad things about taking taxis , that is pretty much global of course!, but I had also heard the yellow cabs in Budapest are official, better regulated and less likely to rip you off.
Still , I thought it best to check one more time that some driver wasn't wasting his time waiting for me inside holding up a sign I had missed.
Turns out that was pretty much the case. It was a young lady holding a clipboard sized whiteboard with my name on it , my driver a guy standing next to her.
'YOW-NO-POT' I said to my driver , they all chuckled at my attempt to say hello in Hungarian , apparently I wasn't correct, but I had found my ride. I was on my way!
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