Budapest was hot. I sticky kind of hot as if you were a melted plastic toy covered in cat fluff. Our British friend Ben took us for a walk around the city. Nowhere in specific. A general wander that took in a few sights with no real pressure to be anywhere. It was nice. Hot, but nice to wander.
This was the day when I first connected with beer. We had been walking for a few hours. Did I mention it was hot? There was a decent enough looking bar with outdoor seating allowing us to people watch so we stopped there. Ben went in to order and came back with a few pints in big chunky glasses with a nice handle on. A very satisfying glass to hold. We drank the beer. It was incredible. Refreshing. Cooling. It was the best thing I had ever drank. What was it? Tuborg. Absolutely nothing special if you spoke with a bearded beer boffin. In the years since I have had vastly superior and more complex drinks but I still hold a place in my heart for Tuborg. Oh sure I had had beer before now but for some reason it all clicked into place on this day.
The hour was late and we walked around the city at sunset. Beautiful. The architectural style of numerous buildings reminded me of home. I could have been in Manchester or Liverpool.
We met up with Ben’s wife and went for tea. I was apprehensive as I’m not great with food. Sensory issues relating to taste and texture. I had no knowledge of Hungarian food and assumed it was spicy for some reason. Ben ordered a mixed grill as it seemed like a good way to try things without any pressure. When it arrived they walked us through the huge plate.
- Grilled chicken – no spices
- Meatballs – no sauce or spices just meat balls
- Sausage – no spices just good meat
- Burgers – no spices or sauce just good meat
- Salad – you know, salad like
- Chips – no sauce just chips
Essentially there was round meat, flat meat and long meat with a side of abstract meat.
Huh? People enjoy food like I do? They enjoy the simple flavours not because they have sensory issues but because they enjoy the flavours. Europe was once again comforting me and telling me that all those times people in the UK laughed at me for being weird with food was simply because I had different tastes. Instead of exploring those differences I was an outcast. Yet in Europe I was welcomed and rewarded for my lifestyle.
stops for a minute to cry over Brexit Why are we closing ourselves off to difference? breathes
Anyway. We had a fantastic meal and a truly fantastic day. My anxiety from yesterday had subsided and I was relaxing in to the Hungarian lifestyle.
Our evening was spent exploring a few kerts of Budapest. Kerts are basically pop-up bars in ruined spaces filled with an assortment of garden furniture and a place to serve beer. They are there one day and possibly gone the next. Another will appear down the road so there’s no crying over spilt milkshake IPA. Back in 2012 the UK didn’t really have kerts. We have slowly developed them I think. Craft bars with that rustic wooden feel. The lack of polish is the polish. As we had had a big day we only visited a couple. We would have a big tour on another night.