No Halloween, No Museums, Plenty of Beer

After the herbal sleeping pill, I slept through until 9:30, but since our hosts are not around, all the clocks still shine into the room displaying an hour later than necessary. It adds to my guilt for sleeping in, but I am trying to kick a cold, so I have good justification. A hour here and there will not a vacation destroy.

Food for our breakfast was in the fridge, so we self-served. Our sleeping quarters are six metro stops from the Rathaus. Off we went for a day of exploration, but opps! Today is Monday, so all museums are closed. It is a holiday today and tomorrow, but they will be open tomorrow on regular Tuesday schedules. Most of the stores are open, the exceptions are the smaller stores. The chain stores of course are corporations, so they rely on consumerism habits. Let me say there is a tremendous amount of it. The streets are so jam packed, one would think this is the Christmas season and the Christmas markets were open and everyone was giving merchandise away. It is difficult to walk side by side without getting separated from Ron within seconds. Those who chose to drive their cars are probably cursing themselves for not keeping it garaged. The traffic just sits in place.

We walked and walked, but then finally fell victim to the tourism office for more information. We both had visions of castles dancing in our heads when we planned this trip. The tourism office woman was like the evil witch in Cinderella, “No castle tours! They all ended on October 31st, which is today and you missed them all.” She kept looking past us like Jesus was next in line and she couldn’t wait to get rid of us to tell him her sins and accept him as her savior. Being rude to us apparently didn’t qualify on her “To do good” list.  There was only one other person in line waiting for her pearls of wisdom, but he did not resemble any representation of Jesus I had ever seen.

I could not take it any longer, by 3:30, I had to detour us to the Hofbraushaus for a beer. Ron and I had been here last in 1993. There are no longer the buxom women any longer who carry around ten liters of beer on two arms. There is a multinational wait staff, but most of them are men, grumpy older men, but no longer any spectacles of the olden days. They don’t wear Bavarian outfits any longer either. The hall itself looks smaller than either of us remembers. The pretzels are crunchier and not as doughy or chewy, but a liter of beer will drown a few sorrows. What I really wanted to drown were those nasty cold germs. I gave them what for with a liter of beer here and later another ½ liter elsewhere. I can feel them grasping for a lifesaver, but I think they are goners. Just to be safe, we stopped at a health food store to get some remedies. For my cold and for Ron’s prevention, they sold us two different cures to the tune of 39.00 Euros, but heck, it is cheaper then suffering with bronchitis and then pneumonia like I have done the last two years. 

By 4:30 the darkness had permeated our surroundings, making our heads believe it was really 9:30 pm or later. What a crazy thing it is psychologically to have to push forward rather than want to head to bed. The streets and stores were still teeming at 7:30 pm, but we were running out of things to do. When the museums are closed and you don’t want to shop until you drop, what is left to do? Oh right, drink.

Well we did hit a few stores. Ron wanted better gloves. That is he did until he saw the prices, realizing he could have bought the cow and had the gloved made for less. We did come upon a store where I found some shirts I liked, but was not willing to mortgage the apartment for them. Who in this economy is paying over 100 Euros for a sports shirt? Finally, we found a ‘reasonable’ store with a fabulous sale. Ron found the gloves he wanted for 10 Euros and I found a sweater shirt on sale for 15 Euros. We both left happy, so we stopped by a restaurant for a beer and to continue to drown my little cold buggers.

Here and there, we saw some young people in costumes or young, young children with their faces made-up like cats or other non-ghoulish creatures. There doesn’t seem to be much recognition of Halloween, which is only strange to me since it seems to have grown substantially in Budapest over the years. Many shop windows had some Halloween decor and pumpkins were ubiquitious. 

We will see what tomorrow brings. Without castle tours, this is really going to put a crimp in our week long plans. When it was still warm in Budapest, a bike tour here sounded like fun. Now I don’t feel 100% and the weather is bordering on freezing. The idea has lost a great deal of its appeal. We will see.Enhanced by Zemanta