Trip Start Feb 20, 2006
Trip End Feb 18, 2007

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Friday, September 1, 2006

so i'm in budapest now, its a pretty cool city. there are the funkiest buildings everywhere. i have just been wandering around really - there is nothing specific i was dying to see, so i am spending my time wandering around the city. i went out to a museum of old communist statues yesterday - basically, when they quit being communist, someone went out and rounded up a bunch of the biggest, ugliest communist era statues they could find and put them in a park for people to come and see. they have called it, imaginatively enough, 'statue park!' (compete with exclamation point...) this level of imagination seems to be a theme here though. anyway, the statues were enormous, and really ugly most of the time - lots of fulfilled workers standing proudly witht heir caps... it was pretty amusing, not least because these statues are now living in the middle of nowhere, seriously, in a field full of power lines. i had to take the train, and 2 buses to get there.

today i went to another museum, with another imaginative name - 'terror house'. was interesting though - it was the headquarters of the hungarian nazi party until the communists came along and turned it into their headquarters. it was all rather avant-guarde modern art style - most of the time i had no idea what was going on: artistic symbolism is fine as long as the explanation accompanying it is not in hungarian. there was a maze in one of the rooms made of what i assume were symbolic bricks of pig fat - i arrived at this conclussion only because the bricks were white and lardy looking, and there was a plastic pig in one corner... i feel much of its impact may have been wasted on me. although i did not miss the fact that they had turned one of the former torture chambers into a nice, modern ladies bathroom. they left the other torture chamber intact next door...

anyway, the museum was interesting, despite being completely tripped out. they kept all the old prison cells that used to be used to keep the political prisoners in - that part was not wasted on me - they were pretty revolting.

i am headed to vienna tomorrow, just for a few days, then to prague. its bloody cold here at the moment - unfortuantely, having carried my beloved black bonds hoody through the scorching temperatures of paris, italy and greece, i promptly lost it on the bus between bulgaria and serbia, just when it started to get cold. so i was forced to enter a clothes shop yesterday in search of a replacement, which i found, along with a whole great whack of new clothes which i now have to carry with me the rest of the trip...
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