Cotton Ball Piano

Trip Start Aug 02, 2010
Trip End Dec 06, 2010

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Flag of Hungary  ,
Wednesday, September 8, 2010

After an intense two days in
Interlaken, we boarded the train and headed off to Budapest, Hungary
to meet Parkes' brother Andrew and his girlfriend Caitlin. To say I
was a little leery of intruding on a woman's vacation with her man
would be an understatement, as even though Andrew assured us it was
OK, I'm smart enough to know that what a man thinks his girlfriend
wants and what is actually reality are two different things.
This is where I give Caitlin the slow
clap. Not only did she put up with three drunken meat heads for a
week and a half through Budapest and Croatia, she joined in on the
adventure as well and helped make it one of the most memorable two
weeks of our journey.Our Budapest and I guess intro to
eastern Europe started off on the wrong foot. We arrived late from
the train, couldn't find a bank to withdraw money to take the subway,
once we did we found out we couldn't buy a ticket with large
currency, and then finally we were on our way to our hostel. Or so
we thought. We wandered around for a bit, trying to find it, and
when we did we were informed we did not have a reservation, and after
some research, we were told that they had double booked us! F***...
It's midnight, pouring rain, and we were supposed to meet Andrew and
Caitlin about an hour ago, and we don't have a cell phone to call
them to let them know, and now apparently no room. A few phone calls
from the receptionist and shot of palinka, we were on our way to
another hostel just around the corner.
We dried off, dropped off our things,
and set off in the rain to the hotel that they were staying at to meet up with them, only to see that they were nowhere to be found, so
walked back in the rain to our hostel to catch some shut eye and
hopefully meet up with them in the morning (we were advised the
following day that Andrew was picking his fantasy football pool in
the computer room during the time we were sitting in the lobby).We finally managed to meet up with them
the following day, did some sightseeing and some solid partying,
before the arriving at their last night in Budapest....
Yadda yadda yadda, 11AM rolls around
the following day, and Andrew and Caitlin came within an eyelash of
missing their flight to Croatia!Ah I kid, I kid! I'll tell you the
(I actually started this story back in
Europe, and I'm now on the sketchiest bus about to travel 35 hours
from Vang Vieng, Laos, to Hanoi, Vietnam, so I've got the time
finally, but the bus driver just cranked the tunes and apparently has
beer, so I'll be back in a short while)Alright back...
So here we are, just having finished up
a great meal of local Hungarian food and booze, and we are ready to
do some damage to this city. I had noticed a bar sign earlier saying
live music, so I make the suggestion that we should stop off there
and check it out. We show up, a couple of kids are having a smoke
outside, and assure us that this is the best live local music in all
of Budapest! Looking at the shadiness of the bar I should have
called bullshit, but what I've learned is that you just have to roll
with it.We walk down this low ceiling staircase
and find ourselves being stared at as saviours by the other people
obviously duped into going down to this bar. The moment we sit down
and the attention of the band and the waitress focuses on us,
everyone else in the bar leaves! Interesting... We order a beer and
one of the funnier looking violin players wanders over and asks us
what we would like to hear. At this point I'm thinking you have a
violin and so does your other buddy, there is a guy in the corner
sitting behind a cotton ball piano looking thing, and another dude on
this huge bass thing.
What could you possibly play that I
would know???So being the cultural explorers, we
tell them some local. Good god. If what was played over the course
of the next hour was actual local Hungarian music, either they are or
we are all tone deaf. So the intesity of the room picks up with
every minute that passes, you can tell these guys just want our
money. Next thing you know this mafia looking guy, pin stripe suite
and slicked back hair walks in, points at a man sitting at the table
next to us and tells him to get up, he obliges, and mafiaoso sits in
his place, and constantly glances over to us! Alright, we need to
get out of here.
I've got my plan of attack if things
get hairy, while apparently Andrew is in the corner counting his
bills and wondering how much it'll take to get us out of here. After
he buys their CD and a round of drinks, and a visit from the police
for which reason I have no idea since my Hungarian is a little rusty,
we pay the bill and dart out like escaped prisoners to the street and
rejoice in our freedom. I've never felt so good to leave a place!We drink Budapest out of beer and
tequila, visit a bar that's literally under a pond in a park, and
call it a night in the wee hours of the morning. Alex and I hung
back for an extra day in Budapest, and after a day of sightseeing and
recooping, we get an email from Andrew detailing how they slept
through their alarm and came close to joining us on the train to
Croatia after narrowly making their plane. What a pair of troopers!
We, for obvious reasons, take it easy
that night, and prepare for our day long journey to Croatia, where we
will relax, enjoy the sunshine and the gorgeous beaches of the most
beautiful country I have ever seen.
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Debbey Bentley on

Marcus - you are certainly having the adventure of a lifetime. Nice job on the blogs and giving us at home the feeling of being there with you. Cheers my friend!

Matt on

Blah blah blah.... blog about the tubing man!!!!!!!

Glad things are going well over there. Cheers...

dukesabroad on

Great to hear from you Debbey! Hope all is well, I'll be in North Bay when I get back, we'll all have to meet up for a beer!

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