Sunday, October 12 – part 1

14 Oct

Photos from today are here.


Oh that’s right – we slept in on Sunday. Didn’t get moving till around lunchtime. Definitely needed at this point. 

We meandered along Vaci utca, looking for postcards. Well, E was looking for postcards. I was looking for gifts FOR MY ENTIRE FAMILY. We always bring EVERYONE a souvenir when we come back. That’s really fun to do, but sometimes it can feel a bit like a chore. At least until I start SHOPPING.

I wanted to get Hungarian embroidered tops for the girls, but they were OMGSOEXPENSIVE in most of the shops I looked in. Or they were embroidered on horrible cheap polyester. Fortunately, I found one shop that wasn’t horrible – and wandered in. 

Me: “Jo napot kivanok”
Woman in shop: *something in Hungarian*
Me: Um, English?
Woman in shop: I speak australian just as well as you do.

She was from Sydney.

Anyway, problem solved and much shopping was done. It felt like a lot, but I did manage to cover gifts for

  • my 2 girls
  • my niece
  • Fraser
  • my brother
  • my brother’s wife
  • my mum

Left over were:

  • my dad
  • Fraser’s sister
  • Anyone else I need to get a pressie for

And off we went.

As it was getting on for 2 by now, we decided that we possibly should stop for lunch. Quelle surprise ! We were nearly at  Gerbaud again. Clearly, it was Meant To Be.

Rather than going for cakes this time, we decided to eat a real meal. I was tickled by the Club Sandwich – with potato chips (crisps) in the centre of the plate. My kids have a tendency to resist anything they don’t know – so I am looking forward to offering them Special Hungarian Sandwiches and listening to the howls of complaint, before they see the chippies in the middle of the plate. Hee.

E had a Gerbaud Special Salad which actually looked a lot like a chicken caesar salad. He figures that when he makes this at home, he will now feel Posh and Hungarian instead of like he is making something quick to eat.

At some point, there were two amazing ice cream sundaes. One with chocolate and caramel and vanilla and OMG Caramel sauce. One Mozart sundae with chocolate and marzipan and maybe pistachio as well. It was very green. We took a vote not to say any more about these.

“We should have come for a week,” said E.
“Next time,” said I.

Then I went and bought a table napkin for my dad. Weird gift, but he talks about Gerbaud often and about their Dobos Torta. And he uses a table napkin, so it kind of fits. (Yes yes, I will look for something better in Germany).

After lunch, we divided and conquered. E could not bring himself to go to an OMGSAUSAGEFESTIVAL, so he went off to climb a statue and visit a railway station. I, of course, headed for the party.

First, I took a bus. Wait at stop, get on, ask driver “Budavar?”. Driver nods, I sit down, then realise there is nowhere to buy a ticket on this bus. OMG I am so good, I can even FARE EVADE in Hungarian. Oops. I was far from the only person to do this, although I think I was the only non-Hungarian on the bus.

Up to the castle and there was a shop selling handcraft stuff. I asked about something for my sister in law and the woman started trying to sell me a skirt. I didn’t want a skirt, and watched the price drop from 20,000 to 15,000 to 10,000 if you buy this top too. OMG. I should have been BARTERING.

Eventually I found a couple of things I wanted, but then things got complicated.

I am travelling with 2 (well, 3) credit cards. The (well, 3) is because one lives in a secret hidey hole just in case I manage to lose my purse, so I am not stuck without money. I call that Planning, but others might call it Paranoia.

The other 2 cards are both VISA cards, but work differently. They are:

  • My personal VISA debit card – this links straight to my savings account. I can use it like a VISA card but it takes the money straight out of my account. I have a PIN for it, so I can use it to get money out of my account as well as to buy things as I would a credit card. Because I have a fancy kind of savings account, I pay no foreign currency processing fees etc with this card.
  • Our joint VISA card – this is a credit only card, which is technically in Fraser’s name. We use it for Useful Things like groceries and stuff. Because he works for the bank, this was meant to be a good card, but I notice that we do pay foreign currency fees on it.

This is relevant because the joint VISA card is literally a copy of Fraser’s card. It has a chip, so it can have a PIN associated with it – but that would be Fraser’s PIN and would give me access to all his accounts. Sounds like a good idea to me 😉 but maybe not right now. And my personal VISA debit card has a PIN but does not have a chip in it.  It’s all a bit confusing, but particularly for the Hungarian shops I visited. Fortunately, the dentist showed me what to do with the joint card to get it to allow me to sign (you just press the cancel  button when it asks for a PIN). This shop couldn’t get their heads around that, so I told them I would be back and walked off. Huh.

Next stop, the OMG Palinka and Sausage festival.

The festival people were translating Palinka as “Hungarian spirit”. That can be understood in the most literal way. It is like Schnaps only stronger.

More soon.


Posted by on October 14, 2008 in travel


2 responses to “Sunday, October 12 – part 1

  1. Fraser

    October 15, 2008 at 11:53 am

    1) Woman in shop: I speak australian just as well as you do. – LOL

    2) Your card is not actually an exact copy of my card. The bank knows that it is different and can tell (unfortunately it neglects to provide this information on statements). It can have a PIN and yours can have a separate PIN, but that is actually only for using the attached accounts in an ATM. When using it as a credit card, it should never ask for a PIN (and doesn’t in Australia or anywhere else that I have used it, but I am not as well travelled 🙂 ). It should recognise that it is being used as a credit card and ask for a signature.

  2. melissainau

    October 16, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    Fraser, Australia changed a few weeks ago to using PINs (optionally but preferably) for credit cards. I believe it is supposed to provide a greater amount of security than a signature, that can be forged.

    Several years ago now, admittedly 7 or 8, I was mistakenly issued with a PIN for that credit card. It gave me access to all your accounts. I destroyed the paper with the PIN and have never had one since.


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