After returning from the Gellert Baths, I finally sat down with my Lonely Planet and started piecing together an itinerary to fill the time between now and meeting Peder in Belgrade. That’s when I realized how close I’d been cutting it – time was somehow far shorter than I’d originally thought.
But because my previous weekend in Budapest was pretty much a bust, I really wanted to try to remain here for another, to get a taste of the true Hungarian nightlife. On top of that the weather was predicted to clear up this weekend – so maybe I’d even be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the open-air party atmosphere everyone keeps raving about. But upon crunching the numbers, I realized that I was only within a day or two of making my itinerary at all – or having to cut something out.
What to do, what to do…
The answer came only moments later, when the friends I met on my first night out in the city messaged me on Facebook. Apparently a big GOA party was being held tonight, Thursday, at another underground club downtown. I reasoned that making it there would be sufficient to offset the pain of spending a weekend in transit and I could therefore justify leaving Saturday morning or even Friday night, assuming I could find my way back out to my great grandfather’s grave in time. I really did not want to leave the city without getting into that cemetery. Family first, you know 🙂
So how did my first GOA party go? Fantastic! Just like my first underground Hungarian nightclub, Corvinteto, it was packed, fun, and social – and definitely a new type of experience, as the vibe there was quite different from any I’d thus far encountered.
I often tell people that in general I prefer outdoors parties rather than indoors nightclubs: clubs are pretty much the same anywhere in the world, but partying on a cliff in San Diego or in a pool in Las Vegas or on a beach in Japan or in the rainforest in Brazil – those are truly some different and unique experiences. Still, for as fun as outdoors events can be, what I’ve learned is that all clubs really are not the same – not even close. Just because Club Volume in Seoul might feel like Club Pure in Las Vegas doesn’t mean there isn’t still some very interesting variety out there.
Trafó Club – or Mappa Club as it’s now called – was one such example. I suppose in this case it may’ve just come down to the specific event and crowd, which in general felt very “artsy” – or maybe a better word would be “hippy” – many of them spending more time huffing NOS out of balloons than actually sipping drinks. In fact, I could scarcely believe that the club itself even had two huge NOS tanks from which they were filling and distributing such balloons.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Hungary in my brief two week visit – which my friend did tell me the first time we went out but it took a little while to hit home – it’s that it really does seem to be an “anything goes” society. Nobody seems to worry about getting in trouble for anything, ever: riding the train without a ticket, doing drugs in the middle of a nightclub, underage drinking in front of the police, graffiti-ing a wall right next to a crowd. Time and time again I’ve seen people doing things that just make me stop and ask, “Aren’t you worried about getting in trouble??”
The most common answer is something along the lines of “This is Hungary dude, nobody gives a sh*t!”