Budapest Parade

Kate, a new Fulbrighter this year, our returning friends Walker and Bill, plus Ron and I joined forces to see the Budapest Parade today. This is modeled on the Love Parade in Berlin, but seems like a far cry from it. Last year, Ron and I went alone. The techno music was so loud, the vibrations alone could move you two feet back from where you where standing. This year, the theme was to include Mardi Gras and Roller Blades, so we attempted to give it another try. The parade was to start at 2:00, but nothing in Hungary starts on time. We arrived at Liszt Ferenc ter at 2:30 to be surprised that the beginnings of the parade had passed us by already. We patiently stood waiting for over an hour watching the crowd and the um, parade if it can be termed that. In the hour of expectation, three huge flatbed trucks did roll down the street covered with humungous stereo speakers blasting noise, what some may call music. Now I cannot attribute this to age, as Kate is twenty years my junior and a professional dancer/choreographer and she was just as flabbergasted as the rest of us. The snail’s pace of the ‘floats’ was more tiring than exciting. We worked our way through the mobs heading toward Deak, but the upcoming parts of the celebration were just as colorless and eardrum shattering as what we had observed, so we by-passed it all for a coffee at Vista Café. When will this city learn what a parade is all about?