Sunday, February 04, 2007


Budapest: so much better than Prague

Food, music, architecture, bars, literature, hotels, friendliness, clean streets, nightlife, Jethro Tull songs, romance, prices, historical resistance to oppressive regimes, bookshops, quirky museums, relative lack of pissed-up British stag weekenders.


Also the home of the World's biggest Tesco. A dull fact if ever I saw one.
No time now but shall return later with Thoughts.
Do you think the Jethro Tull songs help with the historical resistance to oppressive regimes?

I mean, in the UK, once Jethro Tull fell out of fashion, it wasn't long before Thatcher took Power.

So would Budapest win in a fight then?

I think Arbroath is better than Aberdeen.
I fucking love Budapest mate. Did you know in Magyar (the lingo) the word foe cheese sounds like 'shite'. I am not one for visiting McDonald type establishments even in blighty but there was a part of me that would have found humour in asking for a shite-burger.

Best meal - Cock with shite-balls. Yep indeedy!
I was in Prague about 10 years ago before the whole Britsh hen/staggering long weekend phenomenon started up and then Budapest for a couple of days on the same trip.

I got food poisoning in Budapest and had my camera and coat nicked so perhaps that's coloured my view a little about its being better than Prague.

But I have to say, with all due respect mind, that you are wrong. Prague is best and I will engage in punching with anyone who disagrees.

Prague: you barely need to crack open the guide book 'cos it's a city with its history writ large across it. Great grey behemoths of realpolitikski right next to mediaeval churches and palaces. Free chamber music all over the city in churches and gardens that you'd have to pay through the navel for in Vienna. The Charles Bridge and Kafka and the cleanliness.

Budapest was full of dogshit. And I was sick. And cold on account of my coat being nicked. And that is why I conclude in my measured, balanced way that Prague is infinitely better.

Although Staropramen is horrible. I'll concede Staropramen for your anti-Prague argument and even throw in the romance of Buda and Pest gazing at each other across the Danube, but what have you got to trump Hungarian dog-shit?

I say you have nothing sir, and I throw down my glove at you (one that wasn't pilfered in that thieves nest, Budapest).
Estonia seems like a good place to go. Reaping the early rewards of Milton Friedman free-market philosophy, it is more wired than Spain or Italy and is still unspoilt by mass tourism. Talinn is swimming in history and prices are cheap by European standards. There is a peculiar new culture about every 30 miles down the road, it seems, and it all just looks dead good.

I want to see it before it all turns to shit and its economic bubble bursts and they overdo the tourist thing and are left with nothing but abandoned Holiday Inns, wind and dead flies blowing down the empty halls, their tattered curtains blowing eerily, and broken windows slamming forlornly open and shut, open and shut, as if to ask why? Why? Why could Chile (the bastard!) stage a remarkable economic turnaround in a few years and Estonia not? And knowing deep, deep down that it's because there is something wrong, something indescribable but very wrong with Estonia and it'll probably never get a date. (In the Southern hemisphere my glass is half-full and I feel optimistic about Chile; in the Northern hemi, half emptyand I feel Estonia is doomed in a dirty-snowed wintery way - it's to do with the way the earth spins and plugholes and stuff.)
For an extra hundred (what is that these days, 80 euro or something?) bucks you could have gone to Bucharest, dude. Home of the easy women. Or at least it was, back before I left for 'Murikin freedom.

But maybe you were accompanied by Madame Mangeuse de Pieds, which would make Bucharest a rather awkward destination. Next time you should tell her there's this world medical congress in East Europe, and you absolutely must attend it--alone. Oh, the merriment!
Eddie: I went in there. It was as exciting as any Tesco I've ever seen.

Kim: Tull's song Budapest was released a mere two years before the fall of communism. Coincidence?

Mr Knudsen: both Budapest and Prague would wipe the floor with Arbroath. Whatever that is.

Binty: interesting, I did not know that. Did you know that Magyar is, together with Japanese, considered the hardest tongue in the world to master by those who measure such things?

Sam: very lyrical, your comments. I was never anti-Prague, as I love the place. But there's something about Budapest's underdog status that appeals to the romantic in me.

Desargues: haven't seen you in a while; how's it hanging? The trouble with Romanian women is that if you have a hint of garlic on your breath they run away.
(i'd like to visit, looks beautimous)

McShae: the dish you mentioned is best served piping hot..
I've been to Prague, but not Budapest, so I can say with absolute certainty that you're wrong.
I'm always at my most lyrical when I'm talking about dogshit and vomit.
I like Prague much more. There are not many places in the world, about which I can say I love them. I have to confess, that Prague is ONE of those. Prague means for me a city for just hanging out in old streets, especially in the evenings, when the street lamps light romantic through narrow streets. I have been to many cities and capitals, but Prague is special somehow - it has the typical atmosphere -block of flats everywhere, typical trams, different architecture styles and people usually mind their own business, don’t care about others, but when start to talk to someone, they are really nice.
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