Waking Up In Budapest

Today was just about doing a little bit of sight-seeing and taking in our new surroundings. Within a few minutes of leaving the hostel and snapping our first couple of photographs, we saw our first car crash. Some guy was driving up behind stationary traffic and not paying the slightest bit of attention. He swerved to the left, just in time, to avoid the car in front. Unfortunately, for him, to his left was a two foot high curb which demolished his wheel and axle and of course the underside of his car. Note to self – “watch out for sleepy drivers”.

Did you know that Monika has been spending some time in Jedi Knight school recently? Below is a video of here showing off her skills:

The rest of the day was spent walking from here to there and then from there to over there and then from over there back to there and so on. Monika had her ‘photographers eye’ again and spied a great vantage point from which to take a few pictures of the famous Hungarian Parliament Building. Unfortunately this vantage point was on the other side of the Danube and involved much walking and the climbing of around 500 steps! When we got there, we had to wait until dusk – as apparently this puts the building in the best light. The total walking distance for this day was around 20km. The sooner we get on the bikes the better!

Now this topic came up after dinner today and is probably best broached when we have travelled more and have more people following our blog. But here goes anyway. Tonight we had dinner at a cafe and the total bill came to 4,560Ft, so I gave the waitress a 5,000Ft note and waited for my change. I did not get my change! The waitress had decided that this was her tip. To say I was unimpressed is an understatement to say the least. We choose virtually the cheapest items on the menu and decided against the desserts, just to try and save money. Her 440Ft tip was more than we had spent on lunch! This 440Ft works out at about €1.60, but it’s the principle. I personally think that it’s a bit cheeky to assume you are getting a tip and don’t even bother to bring the change back to the table. Was it our fault for going to a place that expects a tip? Should I have gone up and asked for my change? Do other backpackers/travellers who have no job and are travelling off their savings leave tips in developed countries? From now on, we will be eating in less fancy places (not that this was fancy!) or we will be paying with massively inappropriate denominations so that there will be doubt that I want my change back!

That was lesson number two for our trip. Lesson number one was ‘wear your helmet at all times, even if you are just opening your curtains’.

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