Thursday 9th October – Paris to Budapest

11 Oct

Many trains through Paris later, we arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport. The trains were astonishingly crowded and I did see a few people who just took aim and gave a good push when someone was in their way. Charles de Gaulle has the longest travellator I have ever seen. I will try to get a photo when we get back — truly enormous. I got through security OK but apparently E looked rather suspicious – he was frisked and patted down, and his shoes were x-rayed separately.

Fortunately, the plane did not leave 40 minutes early. Eating the snack they provided was a bad plan – the vibration of the plane and the motion of eating started my tooth hurting. I had the codeine & paracetamol handy so had some of that — with very little effect. Fun was provided, though, with more Thurn und Taxis moments as we flew over Linz (or was this the next flight?)

Changing gates in Frankfurt was fun. We were lucky that we only had to get from an “A” gate to a “B” gate, but it was still quite a long way for transit. No chance to enjoy being in Germany. I swallowed some ibuprofen which helped with flight #2 but it was still pretty ouchy – clear that I needed to find a dentist. Skipped the snack on flight 2, as I didn’t want to aggravate it any more. I noticed that I was getting excited about getting to Hungary. As in, even more OMGEXCITED! than I was already.

OMG!! The Schengen agreement and the EU have a lot to answer for. I didn’t even have to show anyone my passport at Ferihegy airport. Sniff.

Took a taxi to our apartment – well, to *near* our apartment — the road is being rebuilt and so there were workers everywhere, thumping and banging and generally being noisy. The apartment is great – “2 rooms” which is really one big room with a half-height room divider, small kitchen and appropriate bathing facilities. Weirdness is provided by the sink-which-is-also-a-stove and the antique computer (they also have wireless internet, so E and I tend to sit around using our computers in companionable silence – or occasionally in fits of giggles). I am tempted to buy pasta tomorrow, just so that I can say that I cooked it with the sink.

After settling in, we went out for a walk. I was very proud to use pidgin Hungarian: “Hol van a Raday utca” which probably means “where did you put it raday st” but managed to get someone to give us directions. We just went in the direction she pointed. (shhhhh).

Here is my secret for looking like you know what people in shops are talking about: Work out what you are spending, get a note that is comfortably above that ready, then proffer it when they tell you what to pay. Afterwards, you can work out what they said and confirm that you have the appropriate change.

Anyway – the reason we were headed for Raday utca was the Gemklub and Játékbolt there. 

That’s not a Gem club and Lightning bolt, but a game club and shop. OMGGEEKHEAVEN!

While most of the games they sell are in English or German, they had a selection that they had translated into Hungarian. They offer a translation of the others on their website, so that people can still play them in Hungarian. On Wednesday nights, they have a game club at the shop and they have around 25-30 people attending. They had a really good pile of open games for playing, too.

E was evil and would not let me tell them that they had the OMGFAMOUSGAMEDESIGNER in their shop, even though they had a display of Caylus and Caylus: Magna Carta. He is *such* a weenie.

I bought 2 games: was tempted by the new edition of BANG! but there is some text on the cards. I settled for Saboteur and one of the Reinhard Staupe games that we don’t have yet. 

Card games make great souvenirs. I will make sure I buy at least one French game in OMGESSEN! as well. (I wanted to get a souvenir for my French teacher, too).

Wandering back to our hotel, we had a great choice of restaurants. We settled for the Sir William Pub which was a Skot Vendeglõ or possibly Etterem. I embarassed E by ordering their Tourist menu – Gulyas (nice, not too much paprika), some chicken dish with mushrooms in creamy sauce and Gundel pancakes. OMGPalacsinki. E kindly helped me to eat the Gundel pancakes. Such a generous person as he is.

Around now, E realised that I was not in fact kidding when I pointed out that a little knowledge of the Hungarian language can be a blessing or a curse. As soon as you say something in Hungarian (well, something intelligible), people assume that you speak the language. So far, this had happened in:

  • the taxi
  • the street
  • the game shop
  • the restaurant (the guy kept asking if we had family in Hungary, or had some family connection)

More soon, I hope.


Posted by on October 11, 2008 in games, travel


5 responses to “Thursday 9th October – Paris to Budapest

  1. Hanno

    October 12, 2008 at 5:48 am

    >E was evil and would not let me tell them that they had the OMGFAMOUSGAMEDESIGNER in their shop, even though they had a display of Caylus and Caylus: Magna Carta. He is *such* a weenie.

    Did you know that he used to run around at OMGEssen with a brown paper bag over his head so nobody could recognize him – until he found out that someone nasty had written “famous game designer” on the back of the bag?

  2. Fraser

    October 12, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    Did you^H^H^H they?

  3. Zsolt Szunyoghy

    October 14, 2008 at 7:14 am

    Hi Melissa,

    Welcome to Hungary! Just to let you know, your visit to Gémklub Játékbolt didn’t remain so secret. A friend of mine already posted the link of your blog to the forum of our Hungarian boardgaming community. (He was one of the guys in the shop willing to help you.)

    Next time you come along we would be happy to invite you to one of our boardgame gathering here in Budapest.

    Best Regards,
    Zsolt Szunyoghy
    (one of the Hungarian translators of Agricola 🙂 )

  4. melissainau

    October 14, 2008 at 7:19 am

    Hi Zsolt,

    We would love to play games in Budapest! We did post on boardgamegeek but I think no-one saw the message. Or maybe I should have said that I was travelling with the FAMOUS GAME DESIGNER WILLIAM ATTIA and then someone would have been interested 😉

    I was really impressed by the shop. Very friendly and helpful staff, and a great selection of games. They clearly are really working to build the gaming hobby.

    (I loved Budapest too, as you will see from my other blog entries)


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