So, it’s been a while since I posted. I blame Budapest. No, really- I do!
In order to understand how Budapest has been for me, I really MUST talk about Berlin again. Yes, that darn Berlin, the place where even when it was cold and rainy the sun was shining in my mind! The place where I could easily eat healthy without really thinking about it, where my social calendar filled as easily as my water-glass, where my photography became “Street” and the style emerged that I had always known was inside me…
Budapest- is- none- of- those- things
It is beautiful and old, and has lots of great photo opps. It is also oppressed and depressed and this empathic girl is feeling every second of the previous soviet occupation that has been built into these citizens and their culture. Let’s take a look:
1- All the tour guides will tell you that Hungary is a born looser when it comes to uprising and wars. They have been known to choose the wrong side more often than the right side- and it has definitely given them a very pessimistic view of life. (Hard to look at the whole history online and see if this is true- but they THINK it is… that says a lot about the general outlook of the people here.)
2- Communism- Communism didn’t completely end here until 1989. Between 12 March 1990 and 19 June 1991 the Soviet troops finally left Hungary.
3- The tour guides will also tell you that Hungary is the third fattest country in the world. I couldn’t find this fact online either, BUT I heard no fewer than three guides tell this “fact.” (If the people are eating their sorrows- I am feeling that vibe here for sure- I can’t believe the cravings for fatty and carb laden foods I have had since arriving!)
4- Again- another tour guide fact- Hungary has the highest suicide rate in Eastern Europe. This WHO fact seems to almost back it up-” In Europe, Eastern and Central European countries register the worst suicide rates; Lithuania towers above the rest of the field with its rate of 28.2 suicides per 100 000 inhabitants, followed by Russia (19.5) in second and Hungary (19.1) in third place, according to averaged data.” I also found this quote:
“I think it’s a depressive country,” she says. “I think it’s a fact that Hungary has always had a high suicide rate. So it’s a very, very frustrating place. As a Hungarian I can tell that it’s not easy to live here because we are very gloomy people.” – Hungarian author Noemi Szecsi
So- isn’t that a pretty picture? Sorry but this is actually how I have felt since I have been here- blah blah and blah. I have spent more days just lounging in bed watching The Gilmore Girls and not leaving the house at all, in the three weeks I have been here, than any of the days of the past 2 years! (That includes the time following the break-up of my marriage!)
I have done a lot- don’t get me wrong- two walking tours, a wine festival, a night-time river cruise on the Danube, two different hot springs baths, full-time work on crazy stressful project, lots of photo walks (the street photography subjects are great here) lots of home cooked meals, too many fast food meals, a food truck festival, street fair, and lots of heavy Hungarian dishes. But there is still so much I would like to do- but doubt I will get the motivation to get to before I leave. I AM heading to the ballet tonight… That is exciting! I tried to get tickets to the opening of La Traviata at the Opera House but.. it’s the opening week and no tickets are available before I leave for my next country… 🙁
So- even though I have been thinking about writing this blog post- I’ve been very unmotivated to do so! I blame Budapest! LOL (Ironic the day I finally write it- It’s Saturday and I just finished working 6 hours!)
I do have a post about the food here coming up… It has been amazing- even if it’s been heavy and traditional most of the time. I also have a post in my head somewhere about frequent travel and some the “downfalls”… but those posts may have to wait until I leave the country… right now I am heading home to watch an episode of The Gilmore Girls before I get ready to go to the ballet!
Have you ever been to a country that you just didn’t love? Kind of depressed you even? Where was it?