Damn. So as it turned out, my first weekend in Budapest was a bit of a bust.
Strange as it sounds, things in and around the dorm felt way more lively during the week than on the weekend. Wednesday and Thursday nights the student pub was literally overflowing, but Friday it was almost empty and Saturday it wasn’t even opened. Probably I just don’t yet know “the place to be,” as I’ve learned from my years in Japan that – even on a weekend – if you show up at the wrong place on the wrong day it can end up virtually abandoned. There’s a certain place to be on Thursday and somewhere else on Friday, God forbid you get them switched.
On Friday I again began the evening on my own. Though some may cringe at the thought of going out to a club or bar all by your lonesome, I’ve found that even when starting a night alone it usually doesn’t take too long to find your way into a local group of friends, often with memorable results – as exemplified by my recent nights in both Budapest and Paris. But for some reason on this particular evening, I didn’t. Or at least not with memorable results.
I started off by checking out the student pub, which as mentioned was pretty much dead. Next I roamed across the street to the concert. Wednesday’s two-block-long entry line scarcely had three people in it. So I booted up my GPS and followed the directions back to Corvinteto, the only club I’d thus far learned about in the city.
So, remember how I kept complaining that my GPS never worked in Paris? It’s so strange, but it really did seem to be isolated to that city – ever since arriving in Budapest it’s been working perfectly. Weird.
Inside I connected with a group of Canadians out celebrating one of their 21st birthdays, then a group of Hungarians who kept trying to get me to go upstairs and smoke pot with them (not interested). I suppose it wasn’t a bad night per se – but it somehow just didn’t have the same “umph” as the previous. I ended up leaving on my own and walking home when it closed somewhere around 4:30. Ah well, I guess ya can’t win ’em all.
Part of the problem I’m sure was that, at long last, the gloomy weather forecast had started to come true. In fact, it was pouring so hard all day Saturday that even with an umbrella going outside was pretty much an impossibility; the gale-force winds would instantly flip it inside-out. I spent most of the day just lazing around in my room until 8pm, when my friends from Wednesday and I had arranged to meet up in Moscow Square for a Saturday night out. But as it turned out, the tram route was so extraordinarily roundabout – causing what should’ve been a 10 minute ride to take over 30 – that by the time I arrived at the meeting point (20 minutes late) they were already gone. So I just headed home and went to bed…soaked to the bone.
For all of Sunday and Monday it poured as well; I scarcely left my room. By Monday afternoon I was seriously considering packing up and leaving Budapest, but a quick search on Yr.no (a Norwegian weather site that I find to be far more accurate than www.weather.com) showed that the rain was not merely localized but spread all over the region; whether I headed North to Bratislava or South to Croatia, I was in for more of the same. So I figured I’d just wait it out.
Damn, I really hope it isn’t raining when I start getting to more of the beachy destinations…