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Travel Notes Hungary

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Notes from Hungary

The following are notes, anecdotes, and short stories from Hungary that I recorded in the cheap little notebooks that I perpetually keep folded up in my pockets.

-“What is Japan like?”

“You know, you get drunk and throw up rice.”


-“Is this beer any good,” I asked the large bellied beer seller at a convenient store.

“A beer is like a woman,” he replied in well scripted movie English, “you have to taste it first to find out how good it is.”
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Wade from Vagabond Journey.com
in Philadelphia, PA, USA- September 7, 2008
Travelogue Travel Photos
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-All written words are translations. For how else can raw feeling, emotion, and thought be rendered into print?


-A word of wisdom from a friend who woke up one morning in Poland with a member of the wrong sex laying next to him:

“Don’t go to Poland and pass out.”


-Luke shows the poms his ass crack as they inquire about the tattoos that are scrawled across my knuckles, and then runs into the street and pees on a car that happened to have the biggest, meanest, ugliest looking man in Budapest sitting in the driver’s seat.

He got out of the car and gave chase.

We ran away.


-“What’s the real way to hold a pipe,” a young Englishman asked me as I was smoking my pipe.

“Any way you F’ing want,” answered the Australian.

In the rocks, paper, scissors of wit and logic, the Australian will always come out on top.


-“Would you like some eggs?” the Hungarian girls asked a group of young French men.

“Eggs!” exclaimed the Frenchies in a burst of laughter. “Eggs! like the sexual joke?”

The Hungarian girl was really confused.

The Frenchies continued without the ability to contain themselves, “Like eggs when the fishies are making love?”

I will never understand these people who braved the first tongue kiss.


-“You’ve been traveling too long, you’ve lost track of the world,” Bicycle Luke said to me one day.

He may be right.


-Antipode is the French word for the place directly on the other side of the world from where you stand. When I was a child in New York I use to think that there was a Chinese person on the other side of the world from me who did everything that I did at the exact same time that I was doing it. Then I grew up, went to China, and kicked his ass.

-“Everywhere is the same. There are no longer any unique cultures,” moaned a jaded traveler. But now we can finally treat people as people rather than mere cultural reps.

-Women in the USA seem to want to be treated as both women and as men. I will never understand these people who do not even have penises.

-Watching a white French girl dance to rap music. I cannot figure out why I am feeling her embarrassment.

-“Thought breaks the heart.” -West African proverb

-I must wonder, quite seriously, how many biographers are visited by the ghosts of their departed subjects? I think that this should possibly be a requisite to writing a biography.

-I pity the woman with bad legs in summer time Eastern Europe.

-In a mighty bad rainstorm I miss Mira mighty bad.

-“Respectability unmakes what nature made.” -Richard Burton

– I have a bottle of Tokaj wine under my bed, a little rice in a bag, and a few tomatoes in the refrigerator. I am OK.

-Stop talking just to please others . . . or to make others pleased with you.

-The honeymoon is called as such because it was once a European custom for the bride and groom to drink mead together during this occasion.

-“What kind of night would you like to have?” asked the Hungarian hostel receptionist to a boy from England.

“A debauched one!” cried the lad with little knowledge that debauchery translates in Hungarian as “sexually unnatural.”


-“I bleed because I am stronger than nature!” roared a head-bleeding drug addict to an undercover police officer in a nighttime Budapest park.

-“Reading Rolf Potts’ Vagabonding is what got me here,” said a middle aged American man on his first day of world travel in Budapest.

The written word is powerful.


-“You do not have to think when you read it.” About magazines.

-“My English is creepy,” a young German spoke to me in a creepy sort of way.

-“The Eiffel Tower is like the man. He always says that it is big but it is really not,” bitterly spoke a young Senegalese woman.

– He comes to the lake at sunrise, fishes, then when the sun breaks fully across the horizon and the fish are finished feeding he swims. Then he looks out across the lake at the beautiful mountains beyond. Then he drinks wine. Now he sleeps in the grass. When he awakes from his mid-day slumber he will again fish. On and on into eternity.

All of my book learning, all of my university instruction, all of my travels are not equal to what this man knows. I admire the man who awakes just to sleep just to awake again.


– The more I travel the more I realize that I am becoming a menagerie rather than a man.

– Someday I will take all of the holy books that I can find in all of the languages that I can read and go up on the top of some mountain. Alone and with no plan of returning.

– Sunset at Balaton:

Thousands of knats wake from the bushes and head out to sea. Just to feed the fish.


– I have always thought that by leaving everything would straighten itself out.

Links to previous travelogue entries:

  • Caving Under Budapest
  • Living in Brooklyn
  • Chinatown Bus to Philadelphia

Notes from Hungary
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Filed under: Eastern Europe, Europe, Hungary

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 76 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3053 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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