Last night I went out for dinner with a couple of coworkers. The idea was to have goulash, but the cafe we were at didn’t have it. Instead I had a pork soup. It was suppose to slightly spicy, but there was absolutely no heat. I really liked the vibe of the cafe and in many ways it reminded me of the brunch places in Victoria (ie. Floyd’s and John’s Place) with its random furniture and decorations adoring the wall. Nothing matched. Love love love!
There was a man sitting by the door throughout our meal. It was like he was smoking a full pack of cigarettes. I don’t think I have fully gotten use to the fact that people can and will smoke anywhere. Even thought it is technically not allowed inside, most places don’t really enforce it. This particular gentleman was blowing the smoke directly at us and into one of the girl’s faces. After a solid hour of this, she politely asked if he would mind blowing out the smoke in the opposite direction towards the wall and not her face. He apparently took quite a big offence and said that yes he did mind to which the girl was quite surprised at hearing. So she told him, okay no problem, proceed as you wish. And then just got up and moved across the room, which in the end didn’t really help much because I could still smell it. At least it wasn’t in our faces any more. But talk about angry! She could not have been more nice when asking him (apparently another girl at the table ran into him again at another pub – ick!)
Tipping. I never know if it is mandatory here. I feel strange when I don’t. I’ve been conditioned for so long that it is mandatory to tip more out of expectation than anything, regardless of service. I follow the people I’m with. If they leave a small tip, I do the same. According to websites, tipping is the norm here with about 10% being left. Well now I know.
Apparently cheating is quite popular here. This came up as a topic over dinner and everyone was saying that cheating among Hungarians is pretty common and that its pretty equal between the genders – that both men and women do it. Its not as big of a social faux pas compared to back home. Strangeness.
Food is pretty salty. I find myself reaching for the water bottle more and more to compensate for the over salted food. At first, I don’t really notice it, but as I get closer to the end of a meal, it becomes really apparent.
After dinner, as we were walking back to the tram stop, we were talking about the smells of the city. I’m so glad I’m not the only one to think that people smell funky here. I thought it was just me being hyper sensitive, but nope, others that have been here for years have noticed it as well. There are stretches of streets that don’t smell that nice either. I just try not to breath too deeply and hurry past the stench.
In other news!
Across from the cafe where we ate was a building that said it was a Chinese market! I can’t wait to go and check it out. I had a dream the other day about leafy green veggies and soy sauce chicken in Safeway. Its definitely time I find me some bok choy and oyster sauce.